UNITED NATIONS - Countries that could contribute to an expanded U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon were gathering Thursday to find out how the troops will operate, and U.N. officials hoped many would commit soldiers.
France, meanwhile, wants to send a small, purely symbolic contingent to the force, and the
United Nations is trying to convince French officials that such a decision would be devastating, a news report said Thursday.
Though France has been widely expected to lead the force, the newspaper Le Monde reported that it planned to contribute merely 10 officers and 200 military engineers.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was expected to call President Jacques Chirac on Thursday to persuade France to make a larger commitment, Le Monde said, citing unidentified diplomatic sources.
A French Defense Ministry spokesman declined to comment on the report.
The U.N. resolution that led to Monday's cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah authorized up to 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help 15,000 Lebanese troops extend their authority throughout south Lebanon, which Hezbollah controls.
The aim is to create a buffer zone free of Hezbollah fighters between Lebanon's Litani River and the U.N.-drawn border, about 20 miles to the south.
French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said in an interview with France-2 television Wednesday that the mandate of the strengthened force is still "fuzzy" and warned that the United Nations needs to spell out its exact mission and rules of engagement.
That's what U.N. peacekeeping officials will do at a meeting Thursday afternoon chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown.
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said he expects early agreement at the meeting on the concept of operations and the rules of engagement, which have been drafted with help from French and U.S. military planners.
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So the French only want to send a symbolic force, somewhere around 210 soldiers, that proves that France is not serious about the plan that they brokered and that they could give two shits about Israel or the peace.
If France wants itself to be taken seriously and as an international power than it needs to proceed as such, they have been divisive and very weak when it come to dealing with the infestation of immigrants that they have in that country.
I’m all sure you remember the riots of not that long ago, where the savage Muslim youths went around setting every car ablaze and causing thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage.
I am sick and tired of every time a Muslim or Arab does something to hurt someone or inflict mass damage, they totally downplay his background and only vaguely state the region that the perp is from.
If France truly wants peace in the Middle East than they must help to achieve it, not just talk about it, but truly help the process along by providing troops to help create the buffer zone with Israel and to help make sure that Iran and Syria do not once again rearm Hezbollah.
Now ex-president Jimmy Carter (bozo deluxe) has stated in an interview with a German paper that the world should forget about the Holocaust and we should forget our history when it comes to German troops on the border with Israel.
While I am all for moving forward and not dwelling on the past, this is something that can not be overlooked or bypassed in anyway.
I have no problem with Germany deploying troops to help the violence and to create that buffer zone, but they should not be deployed near the border with Israel, there are other areas in the country which need troops that Germany could have a part in.
I just believe that it is a very tricky and delicate situation, no one, myself included is trying to equate the Germany of today with that of the 1930’s and 40’s, we all know that Germany is a vastly different country than before and thankful for that.
If France wants to be a leader in international politics than they need to lead from the front or get the hell out of the way, it’s as simple as that.