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Bush Warns Against 'Fake' Peace in Mideast


President Bush says he wants to see an end to the fighting between Israeli forces and Lebanese-based Hezbollah militants as soon as possible. But Mr. Bush is cautioning against a "fake" peace.

The president says he wants a lasting peace in the region. But he says one that does not address the root causes of the conflict will only provide a brief respite until fighting resumes.

"Look, as soon as we can get this resolved the better, obviously," he said. "But it must be real, and it cannot be fake."

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Romanian president, Mr. Bush said peace will not come until something is done to remove the threat posed by Hezbollah. He also pointed to the link between the Lebanese-based militants and Iran.

"Hezbollah attacked Israel. I know Hezbollah is connected to Iran. And now is the time for the world to confront this danger," he said.

Mr. Bush stressed once again that he is concerned about humanitarian conditions in Lebanon, and the toll the conflict is taking on the Lebanese people. He renewed his call on Israel to exercise caution, but stopped short of direct criticism of Israeli military tactics.

"We care deeply about the loss of life, and I am troubled by the destruction that is taking place in Lebanon. We grieve when Lebanese families lose innocent life. I have urged that there has to be caution when dealing with Hezbollah. And yet I understand that whatever is done diplomatically must address the root cause - and the root cause is terrorist activities," he said.

The president said a lot of diplomacy is underway to end the conflict. A multi-national conference Wednesday in Rome ended without agreement on a ceasefire, but the president said it showed determination to resolve the conflict and move forward.

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