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Officials: Israeli-UN Talks on Pullout From Lebanon End Without Agreement


Officials say a meeting between Israeli and U.N. military officers has ended without agreement, threatening to delay Israel's full troop withdrawal from Lebanon.

The meeting took place Tuesday in the Lebanese town of Naqoura.

But after the meeting, the head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, General Alain Pellegrini, said Israeli forces could possibly leave the country by the end of this month.

And in Jerusalem, Israel's defense minister, Amir Peretz, said he hopes Israeli troops can leave Lebanon sometime this week or several days afterward. He said agreements must be finalized before a withdrawal can take place.

Israeli troops have been gradually withdrawing from Lebanese territory they captured during the month-long war with Hezbollah militants that ended August 14.

Under the ceasefire, 15,000 U.N. peacekeeping forces and the Lebanese military will patrol the border region with Israel.

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