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Russia is satisfied with the results of the conference on the Middle East conflict in Rome
Russia is satisfied with the results of the conference on the Middle East conflict in Rome, the foreign minister said Wednesday. Sergei Lavrov said all sides had spoken in favor of "an urgent ceasefire on the Lebanese-Israeli border and in Lebanese-Israeli relations in general" so that humanitarian aid could be sent to Lebanon. About 380 people are thought to have died in Lebanon since Israel launched a military operation two weeks ago. Another 600,000 people have fled the fighting. Over 40 Israelis have also lost their lives. Lavrov said the Lebanese prime minister's request to deploy UN's multi-national peacekeeping forces to help the government regain control of the country could be granted as soon as a ceasefire agreement was reached and urgent humanitarian problems were resolved. "Such [multi-national] forces will be sent on the decision of the UN Security Council," Lavrov said. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who also attended the meeting, "issued instructions to draft proposals on the numerical strength of the forces and what their specific mandate could be," he said.
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