Saturday, August 05, 2006

France for Europe

It's obviously France that has carried the heavier of the diplomatic burdens in the present war.

Reports now speak about Washington having accepted an agreement with Paris that has just been tabled "in blue" in New York as a draft UN Security Council Resolution.

It's evidently first one resolution on an immediate cease-fire and associated arrangements and then a second one on the international security force.

Whether the second has also been tabled isn't entirely clear from the reporting.

This brings hope of a cessation of fighting within the next few days.

One would assume that the resolution will be respected by Israel, and one would also have to assume that French diplomacy acting also through the Lebanese government has secured the assent of Hezbollah.

Let's hope that there will soon be the possibility of the up towards one million refugees in Lebanon to start returning home, as well as those having fled the rockets attacks in northern Israel, as well as for the beginning of the painful destruction of Lebanon.

When everything is over it is likely that France will come out of it rather well among the European countries, while the United Kingdom by lining up so heavily with Washington effectively made itself a non-factor in the efforts to end the war.

But much more might have been achieved much earlier if the Europeans have acted together.