Three Southeast Asian Nations Prepare to Send Troops to Lebanon

Mostly Muslim Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei are ready to contribute troops to Lebanon as part of a U.N.-mandated peacekeeping force, the three countries' military chiefs said Thursday.

"See how serious we are in preparing ourselves," Indonesian military chief Air Marshall Djoko Suyanto said at a joint media conference in Jakarta. "This is a peace mission. We agreed not to look at race or religion."

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The three commanders said Indonesia was ready to send 850 soldiers, Malaysia between 850 and 1,000 and Brunei around 200.

At least 16 nations have said they are considering sending troops to an eventual U.N.-mandated international stabilization force in southern Lebanon, but only once a cease-fire is declared.

Aside from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, they are Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Ghana, Italy, Lithuania, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey.

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