At an open UN Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday, members of an Arab League delegation warned that any resolution on the Middle East crisis should call for an immediate Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
Qatar's foreign minister gave voice to Arab concerns
Representatives from Israel and Lebanon were invited to address the council at the meeting, in which Qatar's foreign minister spoke on behalf of a three-member Arab delegation.
Below are some excerpts of their speeches.
SHEIKH HAMAD BIN JASSIM BIN JABR AL-THANI,
QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER
It is most saddening that this council stands idly by, crippled, unable to stop the bloodbath which has become the bitter daily lot of the defenceless Lebanese people.
The brunt of the current crisis engulfing fraternal Lebanon is being undoubtedly borne by the country, its people and adversely affects its political stability.
The draft resolution tabled before our august council requires a careful consideration that takes into account the Arab position as expressed in the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers of the League of Arab States up in Beirut yesterday.
DAN GILLERMAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO UN
The critical test this council faces is not whether it can adopt a resolution. The question is whether this council and the international community can adopt a course of action, a blueprint for change, which will end the threat that Hezbollah and its sponsors pose to the people of Israel and Lebanon, and to the region as a whole.
No country in the world would - or should - allow a terrorist organisation to publicly threaten its destruction, and to develop a vast infrastructure of terrorism unimpeded on its borders.
The biblical book of Kings recounts that King Hiram of Tyre in Lebanon sent cedar trees and expert craftsmen to King Solomon, son of David, to join him in building the holy temple in the city of peace, in Jerusalem.
Our peoples have a long and glorious history of building together. Let us find the courage to build together once again.
TAREK MITRI, LEBANESE ACTING FOREIGN MINISTER
Regrettably, the draft resolution not only falls short of meeting many of our legitimate requirements but it also did not bring about the desired results the international community hopes to achieve. We called for an immediate ceasefire. But what has taken so much time is still not an immediate ceasefire, neither immediate nor a ceasefire.
You all know that Israel has not admitted that its actions in Lebanon had been anything but defensive. All the wars launched by Israel against our country and state were called operations in self-defence and in this respect, the resolution leaves Lebanon vulnerable to the whims of Israel.
How could this resolution be viable and how could this resolution provide for a cessation of hostilities while in fact it carries the greatest risk of continuing that violence and destruction?
It pains me to hear the reference in the Bible to Tyre, a city which is now a city of desolation. Tyre has been bombarded, pounded almost uninterruptedly for the last 10 days or so. King Hiram of Tyre sent cedar trees to build, and Israelis are destroying Tyre today. And it pains me to see the reference to Tyre at this point in time.