Egyptian FM calls for Middle East cease-fire

Israel and Hizbullah must stop fighting immediately so that the international community can help them resolve their dispute, Egypt's foreign minister said Thursday. His position differed from that of Britain and the United States, who have said it is more important to lay the groundwork now for a long-term settlement. "There will not be a military solution for this issue," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. No matter "how much force is used for how long, it will not achieve the objective. The objective has to be a political settlement," Gheit said. The UN Security Council and the international community must help the two reach such an agreement, he said.