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U.S. officials pressed for a vote on a draft U.N. resolution that would set terms for an end to Israeli-Hezbollah hostilities. An expert discusses the agreement, drafted by the United States and France.
While the war in the Middle East was intensifying today, President Bush and Secretary of State Rice held a news conference on diplomatic efforts to end the crisis. The president began by describing the draft U.N. resolutions that the U.S. and France agreed to this weekend.
GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States: The first resolution, which the Security Council is now considering, calls for a stop of all hostilities.
Under its terms:
Hezbollah will be required to immediately stop all attacks; Israel will be required to immediately stop all offensive military operations; and, in addition, the resolution calls for an embargo on the shipment of any arms into Lebanon, except as authorized by the Lebanese government.
A second resolution, which the Security Council will begin working on as soon as possible, will help establish a sustainable and enduring cease-fire and provide a mandate for a robust international force that will help the legitimate government of Lebanon extend its authority over all of Lebanon's territory. Under the second resolution, the Lebanese armed forces, supported by the international force, will deploy to southern Lebanon.
This international force will help Lebanon patrol its border with Syria and prevent illegal arms shipments to Hezbollah. As these Lebanese and international forces deploy, the Israeli Defense Forces will withdraw and both Israel and Lebanon will respect the blue line that divides them.
Lebanon has rejected the draft proposal, and Israel is not speaking out in support of it. How do you get a resolution that both sides will support?
GEORGE W. BUSH:
The intent of the resolution is to make sure that we address the root cause — the resolutions to address the root cause, which was a state operating within the state. Hezbollah was or is an armed movement that provoked the crisis. And so whatever comes out of the resolutions must address that root cause.
And so the task today for the secretary and her counterparts is to develop a resolution that can get passed. It is essential that we create the conditions for the Lebanese government to move her own forces, with international help, into the south of Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah and its sponsors from creating another crisis. And so that's where we're headed.
But we will work with our partners to get the resolution laid down as quickly as possible, and the resolution will call for a cessation of violence.
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