BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) – Brazil’s Senate agreed late on Wednesday to send 1,200 troops to Haiti to lead a U.N peacekeeping mission as Brazil seeks to build a role as a regional crisis mediator.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has championed the interests of the world’s poorest nations since taking office, offered Brazil’s biggest ever U.N. peacekeeping force to head the mission.

The Senate vote was the last hurdle for deployment. It was approved with 38 votes for and 10 votes against.

Lula, who objected to the U.S.-led war on Iraq (newsweb sites) last year, conditioned Brazilian leadership of the mission on international support to build a democracy in Haiti after two U.S. interventions within ten years.

Leadership of the U.N. mission to Haiti would showcase Brazil’s push for regional stability as it seeks a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, diplomats said.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission will take over from a U.S.-led multinational force on June 1. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned in February and fled Haiti under international pressure as an armed rebellion threatened the capital Port-au-Prince.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved on April 30 the new mission of up to 5,700 U.N. troops and as many as 1,622 civilian police.

Brazilian Senators also voted to increase Brazil’s peacekeeping force in East Timor (newsweb sites) — a Portuguese-speaking country like Brazil — to 125 from 75.