As the French abdicate their role in building a more “robust” Unifil force in southern Lebanon, the Italians are being asked by Israel, to take a leading role in the new Unifil force that’s set to take over areas in conjunction with the Lebanese army as Israel slowly withraws from Lebanese soil. I believe that the French couldn’t help themselves from trying to take the center stage, effectively undermining the Finnish EU presidency, by setting not only the tone, but also the pace on how fast a ceasefire should be put into place.
The French never had any intention of taking a leading role in the number of troops deployed, and the Israelis, as well as the US and Britain,… bit hard. Well it hasn’t taken long for the Israelis to wake up and smell the coffee, in asking Italy to assume the leadership of the Unifil forces, and demanding that Bangledesh, Malaysian and Indonesian troops be denied any participation in the Unifil contigent at all, due to their not recognizing the state of Israel.
The loudest voices that demanded a full cessastion of hostilities in Lebanon early on in the fighting, are only sending a couple hundered of men, Finland plans around 250…maybe. While Finland ‘s prediciment is understandable, ( it can only afford to maintain 250 soldiers) the French refusal to contríbute more men is not. Read more here. KGS