WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hopes to meet with her French counterpart next week in New York to discuss the situation in Lebanon, State Department spokesman said.
“We’re trying to arrange a meeting between the two of them,” spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.
Rice and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy are scheduled to attend a meeting in New York on Monday of top diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia to weigh a response to Iran’s disputed nuclear program.
A separate meeting on the Middle East with envoys from the European Union, Russia, the United States and the United Nations is set for Tuesday. That session could allow for a possible dinner meeting between Rice and Douste-Blazy, according to a State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A report by the UN envoy tasked with settling of the Syrian-Lebanese dispute, Terje Roed-Larsen, has prompted interest in fresh measures by the UN Security Council, McCormack said.
“Certainly in the wake of Terje Larsen’s report, we think that some other measure through the Security Council might be merited,” he said.
“We’re going to talk to the French government about that. We’ve worked very well together on this issue, and we look forward to doing so in the future.”
France said last week that it was preparing a draft resolution that would urge Syria to respond to Lebanon’s call for establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the two neighbors and for a demarcation of their common border.