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Turkey Votes on Lebanon Peacekeeping Force


Turkey's parliament has approved sending military forces to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had urged support for the mission following a cease-fire between Israel and the Lebanese group Hezbollah. Lawmakers voted 340 to 192 to approve the deployment Tuesday.

Turkish officials say they will send nearly 1,000 military personnel to conduct naval patrols off Lebanon and to help train Lebanese troops.

Before the vote, thousands of people rallied outside the parliament building in Ankara to protest the mission.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in Ankara today for talks on the U.N. force.

Turkey is the second Muslim country, after Qater, to commit troops to the expanded force.

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