Solana pessimistic about chance for cease-fire

Javier Solana, the EU's foreign and security chief, returned from the Middle East on Monday sounding pessimistic about the chance of a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants, and the EU said it was considering the deployment of peacekeepers. He said the best that could be hoped for was a "de-escalation" of the fighting. He was to brief a meeting of EU foreign ministers on his weekend talks in Beirut. Solana, who met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora on Sunday in Beirut, said a possible cease-fire was still out of reach. "At this point in time this is something everybody would like to have. But I think we are a little bit far, still far from that situation." He called the situation "very serious, very grave."