Lebanon rejects Rice's statement

"We will not accept any offer before an immediate and complete cease-fire."

lebanon fm salloukh 224 (photo credit: AP)
lebanon fm salloukh 224
(photo credit: AP)
"We will not accept any offer before an immediate and complete cease-fire. Rice is giving Olmert more time," Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said on Monday in response to comments made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging UN action on a resolution that would ensure a comprehensive settlement to the crisis.
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said that Hizbullah's victory was a victory of the entire Lebanese nation. He warned that the Lebanese army "would join the battle" if Israel launches a large-scale invasion of Lebanon. Lahoud stressed that Hizbullah cannot be disarmed since the Lebanese army was not as strong as the IDF. He objected to the deployment of a new international force in southern Lebanon but noted that Lebanon would support the strengthening of the existing UNIFIL force. Hizbullah legislator Hassan Fadlallah questioned Israel's motivation to declare a 48-hour suspension of airstrikes, telling Lebanese television it was just "an attempt to absorb international indignation over the Kana massacre." Nonetheless, he suggested that the guerrilla group may follow suit and suspend its attacks on Israel. "Shelling (Israeli) settlements is a Lebanese reaction to shelling Lebanese civilians," he said. "When Israel stops its aggression on the south, on Lebanon, on civilians... naturally this reaction could stop. But has Israel stopped its aggression?"