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UN Delegation Presents Cease-Fire Ideas to Israel


United Nations diplomat Terje Roed-Larson says a U.N. delegation has presented Israel with "concrete ideas" on ways to end the violence between Israel and Hezbollah.

Roed-Larson met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Jerusalem Tuesday.

Livni said Israel will be ready for a ceasefire if Hezbollah returns captured soldiers and Lebanese troops take over control of areas along the Israel border. She said Israel also needs a guarantee of future disarmament of Hezbollah.

The U.N. team held talks with Lebanese officials in Beirut Monday.

In Washington today, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she will travel to the region when it is appropriate, necessary and helpful to do so. She spoke after talks with Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who said the hostilities must end as soon as possible.

Rice said she and her Egyptian counterpart discussed concerns for the safety of civilians. She said the international community must make sure that it deals with underlying conditions and finds a solution of lasting value.

In Brussels today, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a bigger, better armed international force to stabilize southern Lebanon, and to allow the Lebanese government time to disarm Hezbollah.

Mr. Annan said it is "urgent that the international community acts to make a difference on the ground." Israeli officials said it is too early to consider sending such a force to the border area.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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