Russia to decide peacekeepers' involvement in Lebanon soon

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Russia will decide on the nature of its peacekeepers' involvement in Lebanon in a few days, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.
MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will decide on the nature of its peacekeepers' involvement in Lebanon in a few days, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

"Russia is continuing to study the issue in relation to a mechanism for its involvement in a peacekeeping mission." Mikhail Kamynin said. "A decision will come in a few days."

Russia and the United States, along with the European Union and the UN, have been mediating conflicts in the region as the Middle East Quartet.

Israel's military operations in Lebanon began July 12 after the radical Islamic group Hizbollah killed three Israeli servicemen and captured two others in a cross-border raid.

Before the August 14 truce, Israeli military operations claimed the lives of about 1,000 Lebanese civilians, forced nearly a quarter of the country's population to flee their homes, and demolished large parts of the country's infrastructure.

The UN has deployed troops in southern Lebanon to enforce the truce and eventually hopes to increase it to 15,000, mainly through EU contributions.

Lebanon plans to send in a corresponding number of government troops. Russia's participation in the peacekeeping mission has also been discussed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Lebanon next week to discuss with its leadership further measures to help the country.

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