A UN peacekeeping force for Lebanon should be strong enough by mid-September for Israeli troops to withdraw, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday during a visit to Madrid, as Spain's parliament prepared to approve sending its forces to Lebanon.
By mid-month, the force should have 5,000 international peacekeepers, Annan said. These, along with 16,000 Lebanese troops being sent to the south of the country, will constitute a "credible force," Annan said at a joint news conference with Spain's prime minister. "We will reach that number by mid-September to allow Israel to withdraw."
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