The European countries that had been called upon to provide the backbone of a peacekeeping force delayed a decision on committing troops until the mission is more clearly defined. European governments are insisting upon clarifying the chain of command and rules of engagement. “In the past, when peacekeeping missions were not properly defined, we’ve seen major failures,” a spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry, Agnes Romatet-Espagne, said Sunday. A senior French official said, “Italy, Spain, and Finland have raised the same questions as France has.”
Australia, which has placed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has refused to commit troops. “We don’t have any confidence in it. It is not going to have the mandate to disarm Hizballah.”
See also Israel: No UN Troops from Countries that Don’t Recognize Israel: Israel on Sunday objected to including countries that do not have diplomatic relations with the Jewish state in the nascent peacekeeping force for Lebanon, such as the Muslim countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. “The idea that you could have forces on our border from countries that we could not talk to, that we couldn’t coordinate with, would cause problems,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Sunday.