Final discussions are due today on an initial UN resolution which could bring an end to the violence in the Middle East. A deal between Britain, France and the US and backed by the other security council members is said to be close and could come within the next week. But the devil is in the detail, with the key issue being that of a ceasefire. France won’t send peacekeeping troops until all sides have signed a truce and a plan for longer-term peace is in place, but the US feels differently, admitted Ambassador John Bolton:
“One of the alternatives that is being considered is two different kinds of forces in two different kinds of periods, because the situation at the outset when a force might go in could be substantially different than a period say, six months later, and over the longer term.”
The call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hizbollah was repeated by the Spanish foreign minister at a meeting with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus. Syria, which is accused of backing the militants, has been kept out of western efforts to bring an end to the crisis. But the country’s President pledged his support to the Lebanese government during a phone call yesterday.