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Blair Says UN Resolution on Lebanon is Near


British Prime Minister Tony Blair says a United Nations resolution to halt the fighting in Lebanon is likely near.

In London, Mr. Blair said he hopes major powers on the Security Council will agree within days on a U.N. resolution for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. Western diplomats say that after a ceasefire is announced, plans will be put in place for an international force in southern Lebanon.

In Malaysia Thursday, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the best solution for the Middle East would be the elimination of Israel. But in the meantime, he said, an immediate ceasefire must be implemented.

Mr. Ahmadinejad was speaking at an emergency meeting of Islamic leaders who called on the U.N. Security Council to enforce an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, speaking at the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference, urged members to contribute troops to a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.

He said Malaysia is ready to commit troops to a U.N.-led mission. In Damascus, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Syria plans to exercise its influence over Hezbollah if circumstances in Lebanon change.

Moratinos spoke after talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad. He did not indicate if Syria wants to help bring about a ceasefire or if Syria plans to pressure Hezbollah at a later stage.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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