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UN Force Commander Briefs Lebanese PM

UN Force Commander Briefs Lebanese Prime Minister As Israeli Troops Withdraw Further

New York, Sep 12 2006 12:00PM

The United Nations military commander in Lebanon today briefed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora on the latest troop movements in the south of the country, while Israeli forces continued their withdrawal as stipulated by the Security Council resolution that ended the month of conflict in the region on 14 August.

“I also informed the Prime Minister on the deployment of additional UNIFIL (the UN Interim Force in Lebanon) troops, on the expected arrivals of the French and Spanish contingents in the next few days, thus ensuring that UNIFIL will reach 5,000 officers and soldiers very soon, said Force Commander Major-General Alain Pellegrini.

Maj-Gen. Pellegrini expressed his hope that the withdrawal of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) would be “completed soon” so that Lebanese forces could then deploy throughout the south, UNIFIL said in a press release.

The IDF are currently withdrawing from the general areas of Al Qusayr, Al Qantarah, At Tayyabah, Markaba and the areas west of Hula in the central sector of the south, while UNIFIL’s Indian battalion has set up a number of checkpoints and is carrying out intensive patrolling.

Once it has confirmed that all Israeli forces have left these areas, the Indian battalion will then coordinate the deployment of Lebanese forces in the area tomorrow, UNIFIL said.

Ends

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