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US, France Close to Deal on UN Mideast Resolution

The United States and France are moving closer to a deal on a United Nations resolution calling for an end to the fighting in Lebanon.

In New York Friday, U.N. Security Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng said American and French diplomats have taken the lead in drafting the resolution. But he said talks may continue through Monday to resolve remaining differences on the best way to stop the fighting.

The truce resolution has been stalled by U.S. / French differences over whether a cease-fire should precede deployment of peacekeeping troops along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

In a sign of the increasing urgency of stopping the violence between Israel and Hezbollah, President Bush and French President Jacques Chirac both discussed the issue with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Friday.

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