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News, 8/24/2006

Foreign Minister Tuomioja envisaged troops in Lebanon in a week

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said on Thursday on a visit to Germany that the EU hoped to see initial UN peacekeeping reinforcements arrive in the Middle East within a week. The full force is not expected to reach Lebanon earlier than in a month or two.

Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja visited Berlin on 24 August and met with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. They talked about the current situation in the Middle East and the unofficial EU foreign ministers' meeting, the so called Gymnich meeting in Finland early September.

Tuomioja said the cooperation between Germany and Finland was close and said he talked with his colleague on the phone almost daily.

From Berlin Tuomioja flew to Paris where he met with French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy. The Middle East was also on top of their agenda and Douste-Blazy conveyed the French concern over the disruptions in the delivery of humanitarian aid. They also discussed the Gymnich meeting in Lappeenranta and EU-Russia relations was well as the Iranian guestion.



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Updated 8/24/2006

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