Il Libano rigetta la bozza di risoluzione ONU
Officials in Beirut rejected a draft UN resolution calling for "a cessation of hostilities" in Lebanon on the eve of a Security Council meeting to discuss the document, as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Hizbullah must be disarmed.
This came as French President Jacques Chirac called Sunday on those involved in the conflict in Lebanon to live up to their obligations to end the fighting. "Our aim is to arrive as soon as possible at a sustainable cease-fire through a political agreement which takes into account the worries of all the parties," Chirac said.
The statement quoted him as saying that "everyone should accept their responsibilities."
Earlier Chirac had spoken to British Premier Tony Blair.
The Lebanese government moved Sunday to add amendments to the French-US sponsored draft resolution, according to the country's ambassador to the UN, Nohad Mahmoud.
The amendments included a stipulation that the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon would hand over control of a key frontier area to the Lebanese Army within 72 hours of any truce.
One of the main criticisms of the draft resolution was that it did not include an Israeli withdrawal from the Lebanese territories occupied since July 12.
Mahmoud said the Lebanese government proposed in its amendments that "the Lebanese armed forces will also take control of all the military positions, arms and stores and ensure total respect of the cessation of hostilities in the area. The Lebanese armed forces will have a main role in the control of the area. The international force will be only to assist them."
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said earlier Sunday that the draft resolution "doesn't take into consideration Lebanon's interests, especially in regards to an Israeli withdrawal from the Lebanese territories, which Israeli troops invaded during the aggression."
The draft "doesn't even clarify the fate of the Shebaa Farms in regards to the seven-point plan," the premier added.
Siniora's proposed plan to end the crisis includes an immediate cease-fire alongside an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory, including the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills.
Siniora spoke with several Arab and international leaders on Sunday concerning the Leb-anese perspective on the draft resolution, including Blair, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, EU envoy Javier Solana, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel-Elah Khatib.
The Lebanese government decided Saturday that it would not break from Siniora's seven-point plan agreed last month.
"Everyone has taken note perfectly of the requests of the Lebanese premier," Douste-Blazy said, adding that he hoped there would be unanimous support for the resolution.
Meanwhile, the White House said Sunday that it was hoping for a Security Council vote on a resolution shaping an international force for Lebanon within days.
"We would like to have days, not weeks, for the second resolution which would authorize the force, and obviously as soon after that as the force can move the better," said National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
"How many days, how long that will take, I can't tell you," Hadley said after talks at US President George W. Bush's nearby Texas ranch on diplomatic efforts to end the Middle East crisis.
Rice also insisted on Sunday that Lebanon must disarm Hizbullah. "There will have to be disarmament of the militias in accordance with Lebanon's obligations," the secretary said.
"If you look at the statements of the prime minister [Siniora] and his Council of Ministers, which include Hizbullah ministers, they have reaffirmed those obligations," she added.
The draft resolution calls for the "full implementation" of the 1990 Taif Accord and UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1680, which stipulate the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, namely Hizbullah.
The resolution also states "strong support for full respect of the Blue Line," which effectively marks the Lebanese-Israeli border.
Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said on Sunday that the draft UN resolution was good for Israel, but that the Jewish state still had military goals to meet in Lebanon.
"Even if it is passed, it is doubtful that Hizbullah will honor the resolution and halt its fire," Ramon told Israel's Army Radio.
"There is no doubt that until a multinational force arrives ... Israel will remain in the security zone it is in now, and no one can act against Israel." he said.
"A cease-fire, if it comes, will be one that leaves Israel in a zone of six, seven, eight kilometers," he added.
Russia and China on Saturday highlighted the fact that any resolution would have to be accepted by both Israel and Lebanon to achieve any success.