Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres spoke on the phone with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan yesterday and asked him to increase his involvement in the efforts to release the kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Peres asked that Annan approach the Red Cross so they could visit the soldiers and report on their condition and wellbeing. Annan said he is working hard to get their release and will continue to do so. According to Annan, the UN resolution also calls for their release.
Peres also spoke with Annan regarding the multinational force. Annan said that over the weekend he spoke with several world leaders in an effort to persuade them to join the force and increase their involvement. Peres said that there has to be an effort to include countries from Western Europe, India, Australia, and possibly even China. Peres also asked Annan to persuade France to increase the number of troops it is sending.