France to send another 200 troops to Lebanon

French President Jacques Chirac announced Thursday evening that France would contribute 200 troops to the multinational force in southern Lebanon, in addition to the 200 French soldiers serving in the UNIFIL peacekeeping force. Chirac's statement, issued after a conversation with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, disappointed many in the UN, who had hoped for a larger force from France. However, Chirac allowed for the possibility that his country would supply additional troops when he mentioned that 1,700 French troops were stationed in the area, and that those were available to bolster a multinational force, even if they were not directly under its command.