Danish lawmakers approve sending ships to Lebanon

Denmark's parliament approved a government-backed plan Thursday to send Danish ships to the Mediterranean where they would help patrol the Lebanese coast. Members of the assembly, Folketing, voted 104-3 to allow up to three ships to be part of the international naval force. Seventy-two lawmakers were absent from the session. A majority in Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee had last Friday given informal backing to the plan. But despite the expected and prompt approval, it remained unclear whether Denmark's contribution to the crisis in Lebanon - a corvette and two patrol ships - would be used, because other countries also have offered to send ships. The three Danish ships are already in the German port city of Wilhelmshafen. If needed, they could be in place in the eastern Mediterranean in the second half of September, according to the Danish government.