Rice sets tough terms for Lebanon ceasefire

genImage1.jpgBEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Lebanon on Monday and insisted Hizbollah must release two Israeli soldiers and pull back from the border before any ceasefire, Lebanese politicians said.

Rice extended sympathy to the government in Beirut, a city pounded repeatedly by Israeli air strikes since the 13-day-old war began, but offered little hope for an immediate end to the conflict.

“Thank you for your courage and steadfastness,” she told Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who has pleaded for an immediate ceasefire.

 

But Rice later told Shi’ite Muslim Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is an ally of Hizbollah and is also close to Syria, that “the situation on the border cannot return to what it was before July 12,” a Lebanese political source said.

Rice was referring to the day Hizbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers. The source quoted her as saying there would be no ceasefire before Hizbollah freed the pair unconditionally and pulled its forces back about 20 km (13 miles) from the border.

Israel, where Rice arrived later on Monday, has set identical conditions for an end to fighting that has cost 377 dead in w2342.jpgLebanon and at least 39 Israeli lives in 13 days.

“The tone of the meeting was very negative,” the Lebanese source said.

Another source said Rice had also proposed deployment of the Lebanese army on the border, backed by an international force.

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Lebanon on Monday and insisted Hizbollah must release two Israeli soldiers and pull back from the border before any ceasefire, Lebanese politicians said.

Rice extended sympathy to the government in Beirut, a city pounded repeatedly by Israeli air strikes since the 13-day-old war began, but offered little hope for an immediate end to the conflict.

“Thank you for your courage and steadfastness,” she told Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who has pleaded for an immediate ceasefire.

 

But Rice later told Shi’ite Muslim Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is an ally of Hizbollah and is also close to Syria, that “the situation on the border cannot return to what it was before July 12,” a Lebanese political source said.

Rice was referring to the day Hizbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers. The source quoted her as saying there would be no ceasefire before Hizbollah freed the pair unconditionally and pulled its forces back about 20 km (13 miles) from the border.

Israel, where Rice arrived later on Monday, has set identical conditions for an end to fighting that has cost 377 dead in Lebanon and at least 39 Israeli lives in 13 days.

“The tone of the meeting was very negative,” the Lebanese source said. 241.jpg

Another source said Rice had also proposed deployment of the Lebanese army on the border, backed by an international force.

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Lebanon on Monday and insisted Hizbollah must release two Israeli soldiers and pull back from the border before any ceasefire, Lebanese politicians said.

Rice extended sympathy to the government in Beirut, a city pounded repeatedly by Israeli air strikes since the 13-day-old war began, but offered little hope for an immediate end to the conflict.

“Thank you for your courage and steadfastness,” she told Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who has pleaded for an immediate ceasefire.

 

But Rice later told Shi’ite Muslim Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is an ally of Hizbollah and is also close to Syria, that “the situation on the border cannot return to what it was before July 12,” a Lebanese political source said.

Rice was referring to the day Hizbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers. The source quoted her as saying there would be no ceasefire before Hizbollah freed the pair unconditionally and pulled its forces back about 20 km (13 miles) from the border.

Israel, where Rice arrived later on Monday, has set identical conditions for an end to fighting that has cost 377 dead in Lebanon and at least 39 Israeli lives in 13 days.

“The tone of the meeting was very negative,” the Lebanese source said.

Another source said Rice had also proposed deployment of the Lebanese army on the border, backed by an international force.

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Lebanon on Monday and insisted Hizbollah must release two Israeli soldiers and pull back from the border before any ceasefire, Lebanese politicians said.

Rice extended sympathy to the government in Beirut, a city pounded repeatedly by Israeli air strikes since the 13-day-old war began, but offered little hope for an immediate end to the conflict.

“Thank you for your courage and steadfastness,” she told Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who has pleaded for an immediate ceasefire.

 

But Rice later told Shi’ite Muslim Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is an ally of Hizbollah and is also close to Syria, that “the situation on the border cannot return to what it was before July 12,” a Lebanese political source said. 6797.jpg

Rice was referring to the day Hizbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers. The source quoted her as saying there would be no ceasefire before Hizbollah freed the pair unconditionally and pulled its forces back about 20 km (13 miles) from the border.

Israel, where Rice arrived later on Monday, has set identical conditions for an end to fighting that has cost 377 dead in Lebanon and at least 39 Israeli lives in 13 days.

“The tone of the meeting was very negative,” the Lebanese source said.

Another source said Rice had also proposed deployment of the Lebanese army on the border, backed by an international force.

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