Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Russia backs Lebanon's UN amendments bid

Russia has said a draft United Nations resolution aimed at ending the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah should be amended to take account of Lebanese objections.

The Russian UN Envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said he was involved in efforts to make the draft Security Council resolution more acceptable to the Lebanese government.

Despite concern at the number of civilian casualties, days of intensive efforts at the UNSC to reach agreement on the draft have yet to yield results.

Lebanon has called for an immediate ceasefire and the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon.

The current text, drafted by the US and France, calls for the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel and the deployment of an international peacekeeping force.

France is proposing some changes but is not explicitly calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon.

An Arab League delegation is in New York to consult UN representatives about ending the violence.

It is backing the Lebanese demand that any resolution must include an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.

The Arab League ambassador to the UN, Yaya Mamasani, said the Arab world was united in its opposition to the proposed wording.


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