Friday, August 11, 2006

News from New York, good or bad?

Russia: Failure to reach a decision concerning the UN resolution for cease-fire in Lebanon. Russia will ask for a humanitarian cease-fire.

The White House said divisions between council members, Lebanon and Israel made it impossible to set a date for a vote, but it warned the warring parties against any "escalations" in a conflict that has killed more than 1,000 civilians in Lebanon in a month and nearly 40 in Israel.

But in Paris, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said a deal was imminent on a draft resolution to end the conflict.

"We are expecting an agreement in New York from one moment to the next," he said. "Every hour counts."

French Forein Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said that he has seen some positive developments over the past 24 hours. He said: "Things are moving today in New York. I hope they move even faster in the coming hours."

Douste-Blazy said the primary concern for Paris remained the cessation of violence, which would allow the "progressive withdrawal of the Israeli army" back to the border.

And in London, a Downing Street source said British Prime Minister Tony Blair believes an agreement could be reached over the next 24 hours.

"The Americans used to be on one side and the French on the others. Now their efforts are joint," the Lebanese official said.

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