The U.S. State Department is urging Hizbullah to immediately cease attacks on Israel.
State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher made the comment after Hizbullah launched a two-hour attack on Israeli military bases from its positions in southern Lebanon.
“It’s been a matter of longstanding U.S. policy, something we’ve spoken many times about with the Syrian, and for that matter, the Lebanese Governments, where we’ve asked everybody in the region to use their influence to prevent this kind of shelling, to maintain calm along the Israeli-Lebanon border,” Boucher told reporters in Washington. “We continue to urge Lebanon to deploy its armed forces to take control from Hizbullah on Lebanon’s southern border to establish the authority of the central government in those areas, as required by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1496.”
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Secretary of State Colin Powell, meanwhile, is urging both Syria and Israel to refrain from using aggressive language in order to ease the tension between them. “We’re encouraging both sides to lower the tension and lower the rhetorical tension as well,” said Powell. “These sorts of statements do not assist us, do not assist any of the parties in the region to try to move forward, and just heighten tension.”
Powell was speaking to reporters after a meeting with United Arab Emirates Foreign Affairs Minister Hamdan Bin Zayyid Al-Nahayan.