International governments are scrambling to find a diplomatic strategy to end the hostilities in Lebanon. Spain and Turkey have called for dialogue to replace violence. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos will be at an emergency conference next week.
“Yesterday I spoke with the American foreign minister and the Italian foreign minister D’Alema who invited me to the meeting in Rome on Wednesday,” he said. The French and German Foreign Ministers have met their Egyptian counterpart in Cairo. France has close ties with Lebanon, one of its former colonies. Foreign Minister Phillipe Douste-Blazy believes there is one crucial objective at the Rome meeting. “…to obtain a ceasefire in order to stop any attack on the sovereignty and integrity of Lebanon.”
Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier will fly from Egypt to have talks with Israeli and then Palestinian ministers before going to Rome. Meanwhile, the United States continues to refuse to call for a ceasefire. Condoleezza Rice gave Washington’s perspective at a press conference on Friday evening.
“A ceasefire would be a false promise if it returns us to the status quo, allowing terrorists to launch attacks at the time and terms of their choosing and to threaten innocent people – Arab and Israeli – throughout the region,” she told reporters.