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Putin calls for immediate ceasefire, talks in Mideast

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Vladimir Putin called Saturday for immediate ceasefire in the Middle East and a political resolution of the Lebanese-Israeli conflict, the Kremlin press service said.
MOSCOW, August 15 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Putin called Saturday for immediate ceasefire in the Middle East and a political resolution of the Lebanese-Israeli conflict, the Kremlin press service said.

The press service said Putin had discussed the issue with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the phone and "the sides expressed concern over current developments [in the Middle East]."

Heavy fighting continues in southern Lebanon after three weeks of bloodshed in which more than 900 Lebanese people, largely civilians, have lost their lives. Around 70 Israelis have been killed, mainly servicemen.

Putin urged the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on the issue as soon as possible and highlighted "the need to mobilize the international community to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Lebanon."

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