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Rice Urges Quick Action On Mideast Resolution


http://gdb.rferl.org/73e7fcbe-d12d-4da3-b5bb-6db81c2ee8ad_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/73e7fcbe-d12d-4da3-b5bb-6db81c2ee8ad_mw800_mh600.jpg Condoleezza Rice (file photo) (AFP) August 6, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today that a draft UN resolution on the Israel-Lebanon conflict should quickly end large-scale violence.

She urged the Security Council to vote by August 7 or 8 on the draft, which calls for a full cessation of hostilities.


But she warned this is only a "first step" towards lasting peace. Rice
said she could not rule out that there could be skirmishes continuing
between Israeli forces and Hizballah guerrillas "for some time."


The draft resolution was hammered out by the United States and France,
and the text was publicized on August 5. However, senior Lebanese
officials have already rejected it as inadequate, saying it would leave
Israeli forces on Lebanese territory.


"The resolution does not anticipate and does not expect a complete
Israeli withdrawal in the first phase, no," Rice said. "Because this is
a resolution that ceases hostilities with forces in place, but requires
that the major military operations, offensive military operations, the
firing of rockets, the kind of violence that really is so hard on
civilian populations -- that that's got to stop."


Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem described the
U.S.-French plan as "a recipe for the continuation of the war." Moallem
is visiting Beirut for talks with Lebanese leaders.


(compiled from agency reports)
The Middle East Crisis
Israeli tanks poised on the border with Lebanon on August 2 (epa)

CLASH OF ARMS: Since mid-July, Israel has been battling Hizballah guerrillas in southern Lebanon and carrying out punishing air strikes throughout the country. International efforts to broker a cease-fire have met with one obstacle after another, as civilian casualties mount and a humanitarian crisis unfolds. Since Hizballah is closely supported by Syria and Iran, the conflict threatens constantly to develop into a regional conflagration.... (more)


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