Diplomats at the UN are discussing a draft resolution to end the fighting between Israel and Hizbollah in Lebanon. Arab countries are pressing the UN Security Council for changes in the wording to include Lebanon’s demand for an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he hopes for a UN resolution on Wednesday including all views: “We first of all make sure that we take account by the reasonable representations made by the Arab League and by Israel of course as well. Secondly we get the resolution down and agreed, tomorrow and do that without delay. Because it’s important and that will call for the cessation of hostilities.”
The current text – drafted by the US and France – calls for an end to the war but does not set a timetable for Israel to leave Lebanon. Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow would prefer a resolution that Beirut approves. He said: “It is obvious to us that a draft resolution that fails to satisfy the Lebanese side should not be adopted because it will only further escalate the violence.” Lebanon’s leaders hope an offer to send 15,000 of their troops to the south to control the area alongside an international UN force will find favour with Israel.