Russia proposes interim ceasefire resolution on Mideast

Other News Materials 9 August 2006 10:54 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Russia proposes that the UN Security Council adopt an interim resolution to demand a ceasefire in Lebanon in the event member-states fail to come to terms on the French-American draft, a deputy foreign minister said Tuesday.

"Under the circumstances, a short resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire needs to be adopted as a provisional step by the Security Council if differences over the proposed [by the U.S. and France] draft persist," Andrei Denisov said, reports Trend.

The conflict between Lebanon-based radical Islamic movement Hizbollah and Israel has been continuing for three weeks in southern Lebanon and has claimed almost 1,000 lives and forced about a quarter of the country's population to flee their homes. Hizbollah has killed more than 90 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Russia's ambassador at the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said early Tuesday ahead of new discussions on the resolution drafted by the United States and France that the document stipulated no immediate ceasefire or Israel's pullout from Lebanon.

"The draft resolution envisions a political process that is supposed to lead out Israeli troops but this is something that you can only discover after thorough analysis of the text," Churkin said, adding that the document stipulated no 100% guarantees that this would happen soon.

Islamic countries, including Lebanon, have slammed the document for what they called legitimizing Israel's aggression.

The diplomat also said that his country favored a resolution that would satisfy Lebanon as otherwise the conflict would only escalate further.

Denisov said the French-American draft was "a step forward," but added that Lebanon's remarks should be taken into account to prevent an "unworkable" resolution from being passed.

The Security Council was to convene an open session Tuesday to discuss a resolution on Lebanon with all interested parties, including a delegation from the Arab League and, in particular, diplomats from Qatar, the only Muslim country on the UN Security Council. The session was expected to focus on a resolution drafted by the United States and France.