Report: Sarkozy promises to 'rein in' Israel
Asharq Al-Awsat: Sarkozy vow comes after Lebanese president expressed concern over possible IDF attack.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Lebanese President Michel Suleiman that he would help "rein in Israel," according to a report Wednesday in the London-based Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat.
According to the report, which quotes what it calls a credible French source, Sarkozy "promised to deal with the matter" during a meeting in which Suleiman expressed concern about a possible Israeli attack and what he called Israel's violation of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Meanwhile, U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday said Lebanon is key to regional peace.
Mitchell was in Beirut on Tuesday and Wednesday at the start of a regional tour aimed at restarting Middle East peace talks.
Mitchell's visit is part of a U.S. effort to forge a wider peace that would end Israel's conflicts with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon and normalize Israel's ties with the rest of the Arab world.
In a statement, Mitchell said Lebanon would play a key role in the effort to build a lasting and comprehensive peace and stability in the Middle East.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak last week said he recommends Hezbollah "avoid entering conflict with us."
"Hezbollah continues to grow stronger, with the help of Syria and Iran," Barak said, "but I think that the silence along the border will continue."
The defense minister concluded, "If the situation deteriorates, we will hold the Lebanese government and any group that supports Hezbollah accountable."