Turkish FM Gul in Rome for Middle East Conference

Iran Materials 26 July 2006 13:51 (UTC +04:00)

(zaman.com) - Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul arrived in Rome, Italy, earlier on Wednesday to attend the Middle East Peace Conference, where the Israeli attacks on Lebanon will be discussed.

Foreign Minister Gul is expected to deliver a speech at the conference, reports Trend.

The provision of a ceasefire, the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon and the establishment of an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon will be the top issues taken up at the meeting, which will be attended by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Spain, Russia, France, USA, Germany, EU, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and World Bank Chairman Paul Wolfowitz are also expected to attend the meeting.

Turkey is tipped to lead the proposed peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

Israel favors a NATO and EU-led peacekeeping force in the region.

Israel has killed 422 people in Lebanon in what it claims are attacks against Hezbollah forces in the region.

However, nearly all of those killed by the Israeli air strikes have been civilians, while Lebanon's infrastructure is being systematically destroyed by the Israeli attacks.

During his meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Beirut on Monday, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora noted that the Israeli attacks had set his country back by 50 years.