Tony Blair pledged to work "tirelessly" to revive the Middle East peace process last night, as a draft UN resolution was finally agreed between the US and France.
As deadly missile attacks brought fresh bloodshed to both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the Prime Minister spoke of his hope that the agreement would this week bring an end to the violence.
The resolution calls for a "full cessation" of hostilities between Israel and the Hezbollah group in Lebanon, but allows Israel to defend itself if attacked.
The terms also include an arms embargo on militia within Lebanon, the complete disarmament of Hezbollah and the creation of a 20km buffer zone along the border.
A UN force would monitor the situation until a second resolution could establish a new stabilisation force for the embattled area.
Yesterday, Mr Blair called for the proposals to be adopted as quickly as possible by the full 15-nation UN Security Council.
"This is the first step," he said. "There's still much to be done.
"But there is no reason why this resolution should not be adopted now and we have the cessation of hostilities, literally, within the next couple of days."
Mr Blair spoke by phone to US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday.
US Secretary of State Conoleezza Rice described the draft ceasefire resolution as a first step to ending the violence in the Middle East - but warned it could not solve the problems in Lebanon.
Yesterday, Conservative leader David Cameron added his voice to the growing criticism of Mr Blair's handling of the crisis.
"Britain is a friend of Israel, yes, and a friend of the US, but in both cases we should be candid friends and we shouldn't be scared of saying to our friends when we think they are making mistakes or doing the wrong thing. we should be clear and we should say so."