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Draft resolution "vital first step" says PM

Draft resolution "vital first step" says PM

5 August 2006

Prime Minister Tony Blair Tony Blair has welcomed the agreement of a draft UN resolution as a "vital first step" to ending hostilities in Lebanon.

Speaking at 10 Downing Street today, the Prime Minister said that the adoption of the resolution by the full Security Council should be followed by "full cessation of hostilities" from both sides within the "next couple of days".

He again stressed the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.


Read Mr Blair's statement in full

This agreement is obviously a vital first step, it is an important breakthrough. And it should mean, that on the adoption of the resolution by the full Security Council there is then a full cessation of hostilities at that point from both sides.

What is then necessary is that we put in place the international force that allows us to deal with the underlying issue and put the government of Lebanon fully and properly in control of the whole of the Lebanon so that Lebanon can get back on its feet and Israeli can be secure.

And in all of this, we must not lose focus about the Palestinian issue and the need - as I've said on many, many occasions - to re-energise and revitalise the Middle East peace process. And I'd like in welcoming the agreement, to pay tribute to the French and American and British officials and many others, who played a part in bringing this about.

So, this is a first step but there is still much to be done. But there is no reason why this resolution should not be adopted now and we have the cessation of hostilities literally over the next couple of days.


ENDS

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