Malaysian troops ready for prolonged Lebanon task

October 7, 2006 06:57

Malaysia is prepared to extend its participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Lebanon beyond a stipulated six month period, news reports on Saturday quoted a senior minister as saying. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying he expects a prolonged mission based on Malaysia's previous peacekeeping experience in Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and East Timor, the national news agency Bernama reported. The UN has invited the mainly Muslim Southeast Asian nation to send 360 peacekeepers to serve for six months and the team is due to leave for Lebanon on Nov. 5. "We are ready if the mission is extended," the New Straits Times newspaper quoted Najib as saying. Malaysia had offered 1,000 troops for the mission, said Najib, who is also the defense minister, adding that the additional soldiers could go under future deployments. Defense Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

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