Blair welcomes draft of UNSC Mideast resolution

British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed a draft United Nations resolution Saturday as likely to inspire a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas within the next few days. "It is an important breakthrough," Blair said of draft resolution agreed by the United States and France and being presented to other UN Security Council members. "And it should mean that, on the adoption of the resolution by the full security council, there is then a full cessation of hostilities at that point by both sides," said Blair, who has spent the past few days talking with international leaders about reaching such an agreement. Blair, delivering a prepared statement in his 10 Downing St. office, said the proposed resolution was "only a first step." "But there is no reason why this resolution should not be adopted now, and we have the cessation of hostilities literally within the next couple of days," he said. He said deploying an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon would "allow us to deal with the underlying issue, and put the government of Lebanon fully and properly in control of the whole of the Lebanon, so that Lebanon can get back on its feet and Israel can be secure."