French FM begins 5-country tour of Middle East

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy was heading late Thursday for a five-country tour including Lebanon and Israel, as part of France's bid to quell the fighting in the Middle East. Douste-Blazy will first fly to Cyprus, the first stop for evacuees fleeing Lebanon by boat, then travel to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Israel, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. It gave no other details of the trip.