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Russia for 'humanitarian ceasefire' in West Asia

Russia called on Tuesday for the immediate adoption of a short United Nations Security Council resolution on a "humanitarian ceasefire".

india Updated: Aug 09, 2006 06:39 IST

Russia called on Tuesday for the immediate adoption of a short United Nations Security Council resolution on a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Lebanon if differences persisted over the draft resolution currently on the table.

"If differences remain over the current draft, a short UN resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire should be adopted immediately as an intermediate step," Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov said in a statement.

"The most important thing now is a united decision by the UN Security Council to end the bloodletting immediately and shift towards resolving this exploding conflict," he said.

Diplomatic efforts to end the conflict have faltered since Lebanon objected to a draft resolution, tabled by France and the United States that calls for an end to hostilities but leaves Israeli forces temporarily in charge of territory in southern Lebanon.

France has said it is prepared to accept amendments proposed by Lebanon.

But the United States seems less willing to consider changes, in particular Beirut's demand that the resolution insist on the withdrawal of Israeli forces immediately after a ceasefire.

"It is very unfortunate that the process of seeking a coordinated reaction by the (Security) Council to this acute crisis has been unjustifiably delayed," Denisov said.

He insisted Lebanon's objections to the current draft "must be taken into account". "Otherwise, as has happened before, a resolution could be adopted that turns out to be 'inoperative'.

Moreover, a decision by the Council that is not balanced risks shattering the already fragile domestic political situation in Lebanon," he continued.

First Published: Aug 09, 2006 06:35 IST