UN force to be in Lebanon within a week: Annan
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has assured Israeli PM Ehud Olmert that international peacekeepers will be deployed in Lebanon within a week.Updated: Aug 28, 2006 11:11 IST
Ahead of his visit to the West Asia this week, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has assured Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that international peacekeepers will be deployed in Lebanon within a week.
"Annan said a deployment of the international force will be within a week," a statement from the Prime Minister's office said.
Olmert discussed formation of the expanded UN force during a phone call with Annan, it said.
The Prime Minister reiterated his position that Israel's top priority is to win the immediate release of two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah guerrillas that sparked the recent confrontation.
He also called upon for the international force to secure Lebanon's border with Syria, as well as sea and airports, the statement said.
A United Nations brokered ceasefire resolution authorised the deployment of an expanded force of 15,000 peacekeepers to help monitor Lebanon's southern border with Israel.
UN officials have expressed optimism that they would get an additional 3,500 troops on the ground by the end of this week to strengthen the already present 2,000 peacekeepers.
It is expected to take several months to deploy the entire force.
The UN Secretary General is scheduled to visit Israel on Tuesday and the PMO said discussions on the international force would continue during the meetings.
First Published: Aug 28, 2006 07:49 IST