Lebanon’s parliamentary speaker and Hizbollah interlocutor, Nabih Berri rejects the UN draft resolution designed to end the fighting in his country. Berri said the proposal had failed to insist on the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanese soil…. something which was not in the interests of the Lebanese people.
The government in Lebanon is officially calling for amendments to the draft, demanding that its own seven-point-plan drawn up at an emergency summit on July 26 must be reflected in any diplomatic process moving towards a ceasefire.
Reaction in Jerusalem to the UN draft has been positive. Israeli ministers have, in general, welcomed the joint French-US initiative.
One Cabinet member said that as the UN Security Council was convened, everyone should wait and see, his opinion was that the fighting would end soon.
Israel believes it has compromised on some points but will not withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon until an acceptable international force is in place.
The full 15-member UN Security Council is currently considering the draft which calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Copies of the text are with member governments to suggest changes, but Lebanon’s initial response shows there is still a long way to go before ceasefire hopes are realised.