Saudi FM urges cease-fire, Lebanese sovereignty

July 25, 2006 18:10


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Saudi Arabia appealed Tuesday for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East, urging all parties to accept Lebanon's territorial integrity - including Hizbullah, which for years has exercised effective control of the south of the country. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal's nuanced statement, following a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair, took both Israel and the militant group to task following attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians. "I think we both agree that the real solution is to have Lebanon come back to its sovereignty and territorial integrity," al-Faisal said. "For that to happen there must be a first step, which is a cease-fire to stop the bombing that is happening." Al-Faisal told a recent emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that Hezbollah's capture of Israeli soldiers was "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible."

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