Summit passes resolution recognizing Lebanese, Israeli suffering
LaFrancophonie passed a resolution Friday recognizing the suffering ofeveryone in the south Lebanon conflict after some countries, including Canada, opposed a draft that focused only onthe peopleof Lebanon.
Most of the members at the summit of French-speaking countries heldin Bucharest, Romania,had supported the Egyptian-proposed resolution.
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper was among those who opposed the resolution, saying recognitionshould be given toeveryone who suffered during the 34-day conflict. Canada was preparing to blockthe resolutionunless changes were made.
CBC's Keith Boag reported that after some last-minute compromises on the wording of the text, an amended resolution was passed recognizing the suffering of all civilians caught up in the conflict.Boag added that it was unlikely theamended resolution would have come to pass unless Canada insisted.
"Obviously, Canada believes that any resolution has tobe balanced, that we should recognize the victims in both Lebanon and Israel," Harper said.
"And I don't think an international organization with the breadth and scope of the La Francophonie would want to do anything other than make sure victims are recognized regardless of their nationality."
Israel invaded Lebanon on July 12 after Hezbollah guerrillas crossed the border and killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others.
More than 1,000 people died, most of them Lebanese civilians.
During the conflict, the prime ministercame undercriticism by some for firmly supporting Israel in its battle with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
With files from the Canadian Press