German cabinet gives green light to historic Lebanon mission
Lebanon-Israel-Germany, Politics, 9/14/2006
As expected, the German government yesterday approved the deployment of troops in Lebanon aimed at upholding a shaky ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon's Islamic resistance movement Hizbullah, DPA reported.
"The federal cabinet has decided that the German Army will take part in the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon," Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a news conference in Berlin joined by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung.
"This is not a mission like any other. This mission has historic dimensions," she added.
It is the first time since World War II that German troops are stationed in the volatile Middle East region.
The German Lebanon mandate is to run through August 2007. A final green light is expected to be given by the German parliament next week.
The German stationing in Lebanon is reportedly to involve a naval force of around 2,400 soldiers and an undisclosed number of naval vessels.
The German Navy would monitor the coast starting from some seven miles offshore from Lebanon and Lebanese naval troops will guard the coast up to seven miles.
Germany will take command of an international naval force that will include vessels from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands.
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