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Security Council delays, awaits high-level UN team
by Electronic Intifada (reposted)
Wednesday Jul 19th, 2006 6:41 AM
Report, IRIN, 19 July 2006
NEW YORK - The United Nations Security Council met Monday to discuss the current volatile situation on the ground in Lebanon, but the majority of council members have decided to delay any sort of reaction to the Israeli shelling of Lebanon and the Hezbollah rocket launches, until the UN high-level team reports back to the UN Secretary-General mid-week.

"The Secretary-General expressed his intention to work with Security Council members on a package of actions that is practical and requires the parties to release their abductees, stop the rockets, and has Israel cease its retaliatory actions," said top UN political affairs official Ibrahim Gambari after he briefed the council. He also spoke of the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

For Qatar, the lone Arab representation on the council, the question of a ceasefire should have been answered earlier. "We are late. We should have taken action two days, ago, not today, not tomorrow," said Ambassador Nassir al-Nasser. "As Qatar, we want to see a cease-fire before anything else because we can save thousands of lives of innocent people," he said.

by Electronic Intifada (reposted)
Wednesday Jul 19th, 2006 6:42 AM
A member of the United Nations team dispatched to the Middle East to defuse the current crisis said today in Jerusalem that talks with senior Israeli officials were "good, intensive and productive" and the dialogue will continue in the coming days.

"The UN delegation has presented concrete ideas on how to resolve the current crisis and reach an end of hostilities," Terje Roed-Larsen, a member of the team led by Vijay Nambiar which also includes Alvaro de Soto, said in a statement following their meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni. Those ideas, he added, were also presented to Lebanese counterparts.

"The Government of Israel will now deliberate on these ideas and so will their counterparts in Lebanon," he said, adding that the dialogue would continue with both Israeli and Lebanese interlocutors in the days ahead.