Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met this morning with the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's team of special envoys to the Middle East, including political advisor Vijay Nambiar, to discuss with them possible solutions to ending the crisis in the north.
Terje Roed-Larsen who was appointed to oversee the implementation of UN Resolution 1559 said that the talks were good and intensive. Roed-Larsen promised both sides that the UN would do everything in its power to bring an end to the present crisis.
“The delegation presented many formulated ideas and specified how to solve the present crisis,” he said.
Livni stressed Israel’s willingness to discuss the situation diplomatically, but emphasized that these talks will in no way curtail the military’s operations.
“The time has come for us to begin a political process in tandem with continuing military operations,” she said. “Military operations are destined to damage the Hizballah’s infrastructure.”
The political process does not intend to condense the window of time for the army’s actions or refrain from operations in the future, but a diplomatic solution would prevent a future crisis.
Livni did not rule out the possibility of an international military presence in southern Lebanon for a limited time period. She stressed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operations have weakened Hizballah. “The IDF operations actually did a service to the Lebanese government and the international community as a whole,” she said.