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France, US Agree on Cease-Fire in Lebanon


The United States and France have agreed on a proposed United Nations resolution to bring an end to the fighting in Lebanon.

French and American officials announced the draft resolution Saturday. It calls for a full cessation of hostilities to be followed by work on a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution for Lebanon.

A Hezbollah official, Cabinet minister Mohammed Fneish, said Saturday the group will accept a cease-fire once all Israeli troops have left Lebanon. Israel has not responded to the news.

Earlier this month, Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said his country will continue fighting until an international force is in place.

Media reports quoting unnamed diplomats say the proposed resolution would allow Israel to respond to any Hezbollah attacks.

The U.N. Security Council is to meet later Saturday to review the text.

The agreement follows non-stop negotiations between France and the U.S.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the resolution a vital first step in ending the crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Texas for talks with President Bush.

Earlier Saturday, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch met in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and with parliament speaker Nabih Berri of the Shi'ite Amal movement, which has close ties to Syria.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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