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Rice to Meet With Saudi Diplomats About Lebanon Fighting


President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meet Sunday in Washington with senior Saudi diplomats to discuss the Israel-Lebanon crisis.

After the talks, Rice heads to Israel and the West Bank before an international meeting in Italy Wednesday on the conflict.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says the meeting in Italy will help the world community to put together elements for a sustained solution. He says part of this is eliminating Hezbollah.

Bolton added that Syria and Iran are part of the problem in Lebanon because of their long time support of Hezbollah and other armed groups in the country.

Officials from the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, France, Britain, Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are among the participants expected at the one-day meeting in Italy.

Italian officials say establishing a ceasefire will be the first order of business at Wednesday's meeting.

Britain, a key Washington ally, Saturday criticized Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon. During a visit to Beirut, Britain's junior foreign minister, Kim Howells, said the attacks should specifically target Hezbollah, not the Lebanese people.