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Bush Calls For Sustainable Peace in Mideast


President Bush says he is determined to end the war between Israeli forces and Lebanese-based Hezbollah militants, and will push for a sustainable peace at the United Nations.

President Bush says the United States is working urgently to end the bloodshed.

He says he is monitoring the situation very closely and is working to get a cease-fire that will last.

"We are going to work with our allies to bring before the U.N. Security Council a resolution that will end the violence and lay the groundwork for lasting peace in the Middle East," he said.

The president spoke in Miami, Florida, where he deviated from a prepared speech on the economy to talk about the current Middle East conflict.

He said he would consult later in the day with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was returning from the region after an Israeli attack on a Lebanese village that left dozens of civilians dead and increased international calls for an immediate ceasefire.

The president made no direct mention of the Israeli attack during his remarks in Miami. But he stressed that on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese border the loss of life has been far too high.

"As we work with friends and allies it is important to remember this crisis began with Hezbollah's unprovoked terrorist attacks on Israel," the president said. "Israel is exercising its right to defend itself and we mourn the loss of innocent life, both in Lebanon and in Israel."

But Mr. Bush said again that an immediate cease-fire without conditions will not end the bloodshed. He stressed he would push for a more comprehensive approach, including support for Lebanon's democratic government, deployment of an international force, and an end to regional support for terrorism.

"Iran must end its financial support and supply of weapons to terrorist groups like Hezbollah. Syria must end its support for terror and respect the sovereignty of Lebanon," he said.

The president vigorously defended his approach. He said the current crisis is part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and forces of terror.

"This approach will make possible what so many around the world want to see: the end of Hezbollah's attacks on Israel, the return of the Israeli soldiers taken hostage by the terrorists, suspension of Israel's operations in Lebanon and the eventual withdrawal of Israeli forces," he said.

Earlier, Mr. Bush told a group of Cuban-American business leaders in Miami that he wants the Security Council to address the root causes of the problem. He said if that happens, the people of Lebanon and Israel will be able to live in peace.

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