The European Union has called for an immediate end to hostilities in Lebanon. Chairing an emergency meeting in Brussels, Finland´s Foreign Affairs Minister Erkki Tuomioja had to water down the original draft statement calling for an immediate ceasefire. “The key sentence is that the council calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities to be followed by a sustainable ceasefire.”
There were also calls for a European aid effort to southern Lebanon. The EU´s External Relations Commissioner announced that a total of 50 million Euros will be sent to the region. “Apart from a political solution it’s highly important that we all work on the humanitarian crisis. We were all deeply shocked by recent events in Qana and the loss of lives is indeed unacceptable.” Finland, holders of the EU Presidency, had earlier said that the EU needed a united stance to maintain its credibility in international affairs.