Sweden to send ship to Lebanon

Sweden is to offer a coastal patrol vessel to an expanded UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon but will not contribute ground troops, the government said on Thursday.

“Sweden has agreed to deploy a corvette,” Tommy Waidelich, chairman of the Swedish government’s committee on European Union affairs, told AFP.

The deployment must still be approved by the Swedish parliament, Waidelich said, adding that such vessels have a crew of 80 and can be deployed within a month.

“Sweden is very active (militarily) in many different areas of the world,” Waidelich said, but added that “we cannot send … ground troops” to Lebanon.

According to the Swedish news agency TT, there are a total of 1,026 Swedish troops serving in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Liberia.

The Scandinavian country’s offer is to be made at an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers to be held on Friday in Brussels to hammer out the bloc’s contributions to an expanded UN force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).