EU ambassadors meet over Lebanon force

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EU ambassadors meet over Lebanon force

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Germany has called on Europe to show a united front over the formation of a new peacekeeping force for Lebanon. The German cabinet met earlier but no decision was taken over possible participation in the UN-led deployment. Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said the EU must assume responsibility for a mission that can guarantee lasting peace. Italy was expected to press fellow EU states at a meeting in Brussels today to follow its lead in pledging sizeable troop numbers. But a former army commander, who led the Italian contingent during the 1982 war in Lebanon, has expressed concern over the mission. General Franco Angioni said it could be extremely dangerous to interfere in the Lebanese government’s orders and in maintaining public order in a population which is already desperate and exasperated by what has happened.

In the ruined suburbs of southern Beirut, the Lebanese foreign minister showed his Greek counterpart the damage done during the month-long war. She said Greece will send a frigate, helicopter and a number of Special Forces to Lebanon. The 10-day truce has already been tested by a number of skirmishes and an Israeli commando raid, condemned by the UN.