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Russia wants UN resolution to satisfy Lebanon

Russia's ambassador to the UN said early Tuesday morning that his country favored a Security Council resolution that would satisfy Lebanon.
NEW YORK, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's ambassador to the UN said early Tuesday morning that his country favored a Security Council resolution that would satisfy Lebanon.

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.

"It is obvious to us that a draft resolution that fails to satisfy the Lebanese side should not be adopted because it will only further escalate the violence," Vitaly Churkin said after consultations in the UN Security Council on Monday.

The Security Council decided to convene an open session Tuesday to discuss a draft 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 will focus on a resolution drafted by the United States and France earlier this week. The document stipulates no immediate ceasefire or Israel's pullout from Lebanon. Islamic countries, including Lebanon, have slammed the document for what they called legitimizing Israel's aggression.

"At the moment, intensive efforts, including contacts and consultations, are being made... to try to make the resolution more acceptable for Lebanon," Churkin said, though he declined to make any forecasts when this could happen.

He said Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon to beyond the Blue Line, a provisional border between the two countries, remained the stumbling bloc on the way to a resolution.

"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.

"The Lebanese government is demanding a clear resolution that Israel will withdraw from southern Lebanon shortly after the hostilities are over," he said.

Churkin continued that an alternative plan proposed by the Lebanese government to introduce a 15,000-strong Lebanese contingent into the area after Israel's departure could bring a resolution to the conflict closer.

"I think that this new element must be seriously studied by the UN Security Council," he said.

Churkin's French counterpart in the UN, Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, said the Security Council would try to improve the text of the resolution Tuesday but added that the Franco-American draft was a good piece of work.

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