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Lebanese PM Rejects Israel Meeting Proposal
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Tension grew on Sunday as Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora rejected Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert's call for a meeting, stating that Lebanon would be the last Arab state to make peace with Israel.

Siniora's rejection came after Olmert reached out to his Lebanese counterpart, extending an olive branch.

Olmert had sent many invitations to Siniora to arrange the meeting, said the media office of the Lebanese Premier in a statement, adding that "These invitations were refused even before they arrived."

Last week, Siniora said that Lebanon would be the "last Arab country that could sign a peace agreement with Israel", noting that the Arab peace initiative was the foundation in establishing a "just and inclusive" peace with Israel.

Siniora also demanded Israel abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1701 by withdrawing from Lebanon and unilaterally lifting its air and sea blockade.

Olmert called on Lebanon's PM to shake his hand and sign a peace treaty, also promising to act responsibly and thoughtfully in the interest of peace between the two neirhbors.

Israel and Lebanon have never entertained diplomatic relations, since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948.

(Xinhua News Agency September 4, 2006)

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