US President George W. Bush has called on Syria to exert its influence to persuade Hizbollah to stop attacks against Israel. At a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg,
Bush was asked about Israel’s bombardment of Lebanon.
Bush said: “In my judgement, the best way to stop the violence is to understand why the violence happened in the first place and that’s because Hizbollah has been launching rocket attacks out of Lebanon into Israel and because Hizbollah captured two Israeli soldiers.”
President Putin’s government has already called Israel’s response “disproportionate”, as has the European Union. At the news conference on Saturday, Putin said: “Obtaining objectives, including political ones, by the use of force and kidnapping people, is absolutely unacceptable. On this point we understand Israel’s preoccupations. At the same time, though, the military response must be balanced.”
The UN Security Council, in an emergency meeting yesterday, called for an end to the Israeli operation, saying it was killing innocent civilians.