Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wash Post needs to check up on its writers a bit more.

Middle East: Colum Lynch either read this wrong or the only person in the world to figure out what the EU ministers were saying at the meeting.

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 1 -- The European Union's 25 foreign ministers called Tuesday for an immediate cessation of hostilities in southern Lebanon and expressed their "readiness" to serve in a multinational peacekeeping force there once Israel and Hezbollah agree to halt their fighting and settle their political differences. The agreement increased international pressure on the United States to press Israel for a halt to its military offensive. It also complicated U.S. diplomatic efforts to quickly stand up a multinational force under the mandate of the United Nations and carrying the authority to check Hezbollah's ability to attack towns in northern Israel.
From the EU Observer:
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – After several hours of debate, EU foreign ministers have agreed to call for an "immediate cessation of hostilities" between Israel and Hezbollah - but France and Germany are already interpreting the statement differently. The emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (1 August) saw lengthy discussions on the sensitive issue of whether to call for an immediate ceasefire between the two sides, an idea rejected by Israel and the US which want lasting security guarantees against Hezbollah first. Siding with Jerusalem and Washington on the issue, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Poland objected to a draft text by the Finnish EU presidency which urged an "immediate ceasefire" - wording which was strongly backed by France and Spain in particular. Member states finally agreed on compromise wording saying "The [EU] council calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities to be followed by a sustainable ceasefire." Asked about the difference between "cessation of hostilities" and "ceasefire," Finnish foreign ministers Erkki Tuomioja said "from the point of view of the people who are under threat, there is no difference." France's Philippe Douste-Blazy, who had pressed for the term "immediate ceasefire," claimed victory on the text, asking "what is the difference between the immediate cessation of hostilities and an immediate ceasefire?" But Germany, a traditional EU ally of France, notably distanced itself from Paris, with foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declaring "The cessation of hostilities is not the same as a ceasefire."
Even the Wash Post front pager unlike the A10 story by Column sees it different.
European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities to be followed by a sustainable cease-fire," watering down some members' demand for an immediate cease-fire. Britain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark -- some of the Bush administration's closest allies -- pushed through the new language, diplomats said.
Tip Powerline Blog.

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