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Israel To End Blockade On Lebanon

Ehud Olmert (file photo) (epa) September, 6, 2006 -- The office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will lift its air and sea blockade on Lebanon on September 7.

Olmert's office said international forces will replace Israeli troops currently stationed at Lebanese seaports and airports.

"Israeli planes will stop the blockade of airplanes arriving at
Beirut International [Airport]," Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said today in Jerusalem. "German troops are going to be at the airport. They
are supposed to arrive this evening, and they will be the ones
who will be supervising the embargo against any arming of anybody unauthorized
in Lebanon."

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, representing the EU Presidency in the European Parliament, welcomed the announcement.

"Obviously, we would have liked to have seen this happen sooner, but we welcome it," RFE/RL's Brussels correspondent quoted Tuomioja as saying.

Israel imposed a sea and air blockade on Lebanon after launching a military campaign against Hizballah on July 12.

Israel says the blockade was meant to prevent weapons reaching Hizballah.

(AFP, AP, Reuters)