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Qatar to send troops to Lebanon

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DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- The Gulf state of Qatar has become the first Arab country to commit troops to the U.N. international peacekeeping operation in Lebanon.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, said on Monday the country will deploy 200 to 300 soldiers in southern Lebanon, where Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas fought a bloody 34-day war that ended last month.

They are part of a force spelled out in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, a framework developed by the international community to help end the hostilities and foster peace in the region.

Qatar is a U.S. ally and has had low-level contacts with Israel. So far, France, Italy and other European countries have committed the troops to the force, now dubbed UNIFIL II.

UNIFIL stands for U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon.

Up until now, European countries such as Italy, France and others have committed troops.

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