Qatari troops arrive in Lebanon to join UNIFIL

A small group of Qatari troops arrived in Lebanon Wednesday to join the UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon, making the tiny Persian Gulf state the first Arab country to contribute to the force. Thirty Qatari peacekeepers landed at Rafik Hariri International Airport and were greeted by the charge d'affaires at Qatar's Embassy, Ahmed al-Kouwari. The head of the force, Lt. Col. Nasser al-Atiyeh, said the troops were among a detachment of 203 Qatari soldiers expected to join the UNIFIL forces by the end of January. Al-Atiyeh told reporters that the Qatari contingent was made up mainly of infantry troops and said it was in Lebanon "to support peace in the Middle East region and support the Lebanese army" in implementing UN Resolution 1701, which halted the fighting between Israel and Hizbullah in August.