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Olmert: No Peacekeepers From Countries Without Diplomatic Ties With Israel


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says countries without diplomatic relations with Israel should not participate in the U.N. peacekeeping force for Lebanon.

Those countries include Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia - three Muslim nations that have already offered to send troops.

Meanwhile, Mr. Olmert says Italy may be ready to take a significant role in the U.N. peacekeeping force.

He spoke with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi by telephone Sunday. Italy has already approved plans to send as many as 3,000 troops to Lebanon. But it is unclear if it will lead the force.

The United Nations plans to deploy up to 15,000 soldiers to boost a peacekeeping force already in southern Lebanon.

Lebanon has also started deploying the first of 15,000 troops it plans to send to the area.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.