ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that he expected progress on efforts to have Israel lift its blockade of Lebanon within the next 48 hours.
Annan spoke in this Mediterranean city north of Cairo after a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, on the last leg of a Mideast tour in the wake of the Hezbollah-Israeli war in Lebanon.
"I hope within the next 48 hours, we will have some constructive and positive news about that. We all are working very hard and with a good will," Annan said of the blockade, speaking to reporters after the meeting. "We should be able to resolve it within the next 48 hours."
Israel has said previously that it would lift the blockade only after protections are in place to prevent the Hezbollah militants from getting more arms. International peacekeepers are in the process of moving into Lebanon to enforce a shaky cease-fire that began Aug. 14.
Israel has allowed some commercial flights into Beirut airport and some aid flights and aid cargo ships despite the blockade.