The latest efforts to agree on a UN Security Council resolution to end the fighting between Israel and Hizbollah have drawn a blank. The deadlock has prompted Russia to propose a 72-hour humanitarian truce. Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to UN, said:
“It is a very difficult diplomatic task. But we feel that with this humanitarian cessation of hostilities we’ll have more of a chance accomplishing that task quickly.”
The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was not impressed by the Russian suggestion. “I don’t think it’s helpful to divert attention from seeking to get a permanent, sustainable solution based on the approach that we and the French have been taking,” he said. The main sticking point is the timetable for Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the arrival of foreign forces.