Malaysia to deploy troops in Lebanon despite Israeli objection

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Malaysia will send 300 soldiers to the international force in south Lebanon despite Israel’s objection. Israel has been strongly opposed to the Malaysian troop deployment mainly because during the war Malaysia has publicly supported Nasrallah and Hizballah.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had promised Israel that no sensitive countries will be added to the force, but has since retreated from his promise and has insisted that Malaysia join the force because they are a Muslim state.

A UN official said that it is a UN force and not a national force, and Israel cannot dictate to the UN who can and cannot take part in it.

Israel had also initially opposed the participation of Indonesia in the force, but after receiving messages by the Americans that the Indonesians wish to warm up relations with Jerusalem, Israel lifted its objection and Indonesian troops will in fact join the force in Lebanon.

UN sources say that the Malaysian force will not be deployed near the border with Israel and there is no fear of friction with Israeli forces.

Israel has rejected the position of the UN on the matter and it trying to reverse it with pressure on UN Secretary General Annan.

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