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Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

11. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution he expects British armed forces to make to the Prime Minister's proposed international force to be sent to Lebanon. (87194)

Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to those members of the armed forces, and their partners and families, who have contributed in any way to the evacuation of UK and other nationals from Lebanon over recent days. The evacuation was conducted with the utmost professionalism, under difficult conditions, with the safety of evacuees paramount at all times. I should also like to convey my thanks to those members of the FCO and the MOD who have been involved in the evacuation. I offer all those involved my personal congratulations on a job well done.

Secondly, on the subject of international support for Lebanon, I can tell the hon. Member that plans are under development, both in terms of a peacekeeping deployment, and in terms of the humanitarian response. Specifically, discussions have been held with international partners including France and the United States, on the subject of an international force. Crucially, whatever is proposed will need the support of both the Lebanese Government and Israel. If an international force is to be deployed, HMG will consider how best we can support the international community in that effort.