UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrives in Israel

August 29, 2006 16:32


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UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived for talks with Israeli leaders Tuesday, as part of a Mideast tour aimed at shoring up a UN-brokered cease-fire. During the visit, Annan will meet with families of the three kidnapped Israeli soldiers. The families are hoping that Annan will do more to pressure Hizbullah on the issue. They are also hoping that such pressure will, at the very least, result in the International Red Cross gaining access to the soldiers. Annan is also expected ot meet with Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Israel and Annan are at odds over a key issue - Israel's continued sea and air blockade of Lebanon. During a visit to Lebanon, Annan demanded that Israel lift the blockade. However, Israel has said it will only reopen access to Lebanon once it is assured forces deployed on Lebanon's borders can stop the weapons flow to Hizbullah guerrillas. Israel wants to see international forces patrolling the Lebabon-Syria border, along with Lebanese troops, arguing that Syria is one of Hizbullah's main arms suppliers. However, Lebanon has said only its troops will be posted on that border.

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