France takes lead in West Asia crisis resolution
France on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to "take into account" Beirut's offer to deploy 15,000 troops in south Lebanon.india Updated: Aug 09, 2006 04:26 IST
France on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to "take into account" Beirut's offer to deploy 15,000 troops in south Lebanon as it seeks a deal on a resolution to end the four-week conflict with Israel.
"I would like the discussions underway in New York to take this essential new element into account, in order to secure the rapid adoption of a resolution," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said in a statement.
"This major new initiative was taken unanimously by the members of the Lebanese government," he said, in reference to the two Lebanese ministers drawn from the Shiite movement Hezbollah, the target of the Israeli offensive.
"It therefore demonstrates the will of all parties in Lebanon to put the Lebanese government in a position to exercise its sovereignty over the whole of its territory."
He said the Lebanese offer was "an important contribution towards a settlement of the crisis".
Separately, a foreign ministry spokesman told a press conference that the Lebanese offer had "changed the context of discussions in New York".
Douste-Blazy - who was set to hold telephone talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and other Arab leaders on the sidelines of Tuesday's Security Council debate in New York - earlier gave France's backing to Beirut's offer.
"This is a very important political step to which France brings its support. We need now to look at how this proposal could be implemented," he told France Inter radio.
The French minister was notably due to meet his counterparts from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.