Finland to send troops to Lebanon in November

August 18, 2006 15:43

Finland's government on Friday formally decided to send up to 250 peacekeepers to Lebanon, but said they would not be deployed until November. It was not immediately clear what kind of troops would be deployed under the government's plan, which needs parliamentary approval. Lawmakers convene after their summer break September 5, and were expected to vote on the plan immediately. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said it would take another two months to prepare the contingent for deployment. Vanhanen said the makeup and size of the Finnish contingent would depend on how the United Nations designs the mission. "Their armament will be defined later but it's clear that they need some kind of protection," Vanhanen said. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said Finland, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, would seek to work together with other Nordic nations planning to participate in the mission.

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