The US Secretary of State has arrived in Tel Aviv for talks with the Israeli Prime Minister. Condoleezza Rice will meet Ehud Olmert later today, as she strives to find a sustainable solution to the crisis between Israel and Lebanon. She is also due to have a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“It is a difficult time for the people of Lebanon and it is a difficult time for the Palestinian people. If we have learned anything it is that any peace is going to have to be based on enduring principles and not on temporary solutions. We will talk about how to get to an enduring cessation of violence.”, she said.
The issue dominated a working dinner with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who added: “The goals of Hizbollah are to set the region in flames and to dictate the Israeli-Palestinian agenda.”
Earlier, Rice visited the Lebanese capital, Beirut. She was full of praise for Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who has constantly pleaded for an immediate ceasefire. Rice also met Shi’ite Muslim Parliament speaker Nabih Berri. She told him that the situation on the border cannot return to what it was two weeks ago.
Berri is a pro-Syrian politician who has liaised between Siniora and the leaders of Hizbollah since the war erupted. Lebanese sources quoted Rice as saying there would be no ceasefire before the militant group pulled back from the border and released the two captured Israeli soldiers it is holding. Their abduction on July 12 triggered the current conflict.