Spain may send up to 1,000 troops to Lebanon

The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is reportedly considering sending 700-1,000 troops to the new force being created to monitor a buffer zone in south Lebanon, the ministry said Monday afternoon. Spain's defense minister will go before Parliament next week to explain the country's possible contribution to the emerging United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Jose Antonio Alonso will testify before lawmakers on September 7, but it is not yet known if there will be a vote that day, the ministry said. Parliament's approval is required for Spanish soldiers to be sent abroad. Officials have not yet given a precise figure. The ministry said Alonso would do this when he goes before Parliament.