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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-08-22

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece to contribute to Lebanon international force

  • [01] Greece to contribute to Lebanon international force

    Greece on Tuesday decided to contribute two Navy vessels and a specialist commando divers unit to an enlarged international peacekeeping force in Lebanon, at a meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The decision was taken shortly before Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was due to depart on a Middle East tour.

    Announcing the decision, Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis and Bakoyannis said the council had decided to send one Navy frigate and its helicopter, the diving unit to carry out ship inspections and, if necessary, a Greek landing vessel to transport humanitarian aid from Cyprus to Beirut.

    The government said it will consider sending other units in the future but with the strict condition that the situation in the region has normalised. For the time being, it completely rules out sending Greek land forces to the area.

    The decision was also formally announced by government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos later on Tuesday, who said that it was in accordance with the United Nations resolution for Lebanon.

    In addition to the diving unit and Greek Navy vessels, Greece will also provide administrative personnel and support supplies, he added.

    Roussopoulos noted that Greece was among the first countries to arrive in the region with a significant number of ships to evacuate foreign nationals fleeing the bombardment of Lebanon and had also sent sizeable quantities of humanitarian aid through both state and other organisations.

    The spokesman was also questioned once again concerning the foreign minister's tour of the Middle East, which began on Tuesday, with a brief stopover in Cyprus, and why this did not include a stop in Syria.

    Pointing out that Greece has very good relations with the countries in the Middle East, he asked reporters not to place undue emphasis on the event.

    Prior to her departure and attending the KYSEA meeting, Bakoyannis had met with the prime minister.

    She said that the aims of her trip, which will include stops in Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, are to get a detailed picture of the situation and a full briefing to prepare for the takeover by Greece of the United Nations Security Council presidency on September 1.

    (ANA-MPA file photo of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis)

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