(AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the temporary halt to the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon, saying he was optimistic of the chances of an end to hostilities.
Blair told reporters in San Francisco, where he is on a four-day trip to promote British business interests, that the UN Security Council statement showed "the right degree of unity in the international community", reports Trend.
The 15-member body earlier approved a statement saying it "strongly deplores" Israel's attack on the village of Qana, which killed at least 52 people, including 30 children. Israel has halted its airstrikes for 48 hours pending an investigation.
"What's important now is that we have a real chance of getting a United Nations Security Council resolution which will give us the opportunity both to have the complete cessation of hostilities, not merely a temporary one, but on a sustainable, lasting basis," said Blair.
"It's going to require a lot of work. There has been a lot of detailed discussions and negotiations throughout the night."
But he said: "Everyone has got to exercise maximum restraint and maximum pressure and will to get the UN Security Council resolution agreed."
Blair -- who has not called for an immediate ceasefire -- said he saw "no reason" why a resolution could not be reached providing security for Israel and allowing the Lebanese government to take full control of the country.
The prime minister has been engaged in a frantic round of diplomacy throughout the weekend, talking to US President George W. Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He also spoke to his Lebanese counterpart Fuad Siniori.
"There is a chance, there is a will" to get an international agreement, he said.