Lebanon’s Transport Minister has urged international airlines to follow the lead of Qatar Airways and resume direct flights to Beirut. It comes as maritime experts Lloyds report that some ships are being allowed through the sea blockades into Lebanese ports. Diplomatic discussions however are focussed on the plight of the two Israeli soldiers whose kidnap by Hizbollah sparked the recent conflict. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says both parties have agreed to the UN’s direct involvement: “I would not want to refer to it as an agreement, but I would want to say that both parties have accepted the good offices of the Secretary-General to help resolve this problem. And I will work with the parties and I will designate someone to work discreetly and quietly with them to find a solution.”, he told reporters.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Beirut will complain to the UN about the continuing air and sea embargoes. The blockades remain despite the 34-day war ending on August 14.