Livni in Paris for meetings with French leaders

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in Paris for meetings with her French counterpart, Philippe Douste-Blazy, on Wednesday, less than a week after the French disappointed the UN and other countries by pledging only 200 new troops to the peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Livni was also to meet with Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Foreign Ministry said. The meetings were to focus on the situation in Lebanon since the UN Security Council resolution was adopted and also touch on renewed efforts to find a "global solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Livni was to travel to Rome on Thursday for talks with Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema. Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Monday that Italy was prepared to head a UN peace force in southern Lebanon, taking the place of the French. Italy intends to contribute a force of 3,000 soldiers to the force.