Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday he will urge US officials to work for a cease-fire in Lebanon when he visits Washington soon, saying Israel's "hostile acts" will adversely affect the entire Middle East.
Al-Maliki, a Shi'ite activist who spent years in exile in Syria, is expected to meet President George W. Bush at the White House this coming week.
But al-Maliki, who has been among the most vocal Arab leaders against the Israeli assault, also said he would raise the issue of Israel's operations in Lebanon.
"The hostile acts against Lebanon will have effects on the region and we are not far from what is going on in Lebanon," al-Maliki said. "We will speak with the United Nations and American government to call for a cease-fire quickly."
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