Diplomacy stalls as Lebanon tells Rice not to come

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Diplomacy stalls as Lebanon tells Rice not to come

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Diplomatic efforts to end fighting between Hizbollah and Israel appear to have sunk to a new low. Lebanon says the US Secretary of State is not welcome now until a ceasefire is called. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora : “There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional ceasefire as well as an international investigation into the Israeli massacres in Lebanon.”

Condoleezza Rice who had been due to fly to Beirut today, said she was very saddened by the bombing in Qana and that it was time for a ceasefire. She is to stay on in Israel hoping to work out a deal to bring and end to the conflict that has claimed an estimated more than 600 lives. Israel, for its part, earlier made clear it was in no rush for a ceasefire. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his priority would be achieving his country’s goals in the area first.