Lebanese prime minister wants French peacekeepers to remain

Sept. 6, 2011 at 5:40 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati urged France to retain its presence in the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon.

Two months ago French U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon troops came under attack in southern Lebanon.

Mikati wrote to French President Nicholas Sarkozy, "I assure you, Mr. President, of my determination and the government's to prevent further recurrences of these attacks. And for this reason I repeat our strong desire for the French forces to remain within the international forces working in Lebanon. Lebanon has always held the message of peace and the Lebanese feel deep sorrow when one solider of the international forces is hurt, since they hold a similar message on Lebanese soil," The Daily Star reported Friday.

After the attacks last month Sarkozy wrote to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Mikati, warning France might have to reconsider its participation in the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon if members of its contingent were attacked again.

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