Swedish troops could join UN Lebanon force

Sweden has told the United Nations that it would look positively on sending troops to take part in an enlarged international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, but ministers say the country has not yet made any firm commitments.

Kofi Annan, the UN’s secretary general, approached Swedish prime minister Göran Persson to ask whether Sweden would be prepared to contribute to the planned force, international development minister Carin Jämtin told news agency TT.

“Göran Persson answered positively, but non-comittally, to the question,” Jämtin said.

“It is up for discussion how such a force could be created and what form it would take,” she said.

The conversation between Persson and Annan took place on Monday afternoon. Both men said it was important for the UN Security Council to deal with the Lebanon issue, and to adopt a resolution. The two also discussed the humanitarian situation in the region.

Jämtin would not say how large any Swedish force would be.

“That would depend on what other countries contribute,” she said.