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(photo credit: AP [file])
Lebanon's Cabinet unanimously accepted the UN cease-fire plan to halt fighting between Israel and Hizbullah fighters late Saturday, moving the deal a step closer to implementation, the prime minister said.
"It was a unanimous decision, with some reservations," Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said in announcing Lebanon's acceptance of the resolution after a four-hour Cabinet meeting.
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Hizbullah's Mohammed Fneish, minister of hydraulic resources, said the two Hizbullah members expressed reservations, particularly over an article in the resolution that "gives the impression that it exonerates Israel of responsibility for the crimes" and blames Hizbullah for the month-long war.
"We will deal with the requirements of the resolution with realism in a way that serves the national interest."
Hours before the vote, Lebanon's prime minister said the plan to end fighting between Israel and Hizbullah served his country's interests.
Fuad Saniora signaled that his Cabinet would approve the plan when it met later Saturday.
"This resolution shows that the whole world stood by Lebanon," he told reporters.
The UN resolution, unanimously adopted in the Security Council, calls deployment of 15,000 Lebanese soldiers along the Israeli border with an equal number of UN peacekeepers. That force would stand between Israeli forces and Hizbullah as Israel withdraws completely from the south of the country and Hizbullah ceases all military activity.
Praising Hizbullah guerrillas, the prime minister said, "The steadfastness of the resistance fighters in the field was very important, as was the steadfastness and unity of the people," he said.
The Cabinet was to meet at 5 p.m. to vote on accepting the UN plan, which was written by the United States and France.