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Saudi official asks Bush for Lebanon help

  |   July 24, 2006 at 12:02 PM
WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has asked President Bush to intervene in the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon.

Prince Saud al-Faisal said he delivered a letter from Saudi King Abdullah urging Bush to help arrange a cease-fire during a visit Sunday to the Oval Office, The Washington Post reported Monday.

"I found the president very conscious of the destruction and the bloodshed that the Lebanese are suffering," Saud said. "His commitment (is) to see the cessation of hostilities. I have heard that from him personally, and that is why he is sending (Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice to work out the details."

However, U.S. officials said the country remains opposed to an immediate cease-fire agreement, The New York Times reported.

"Our position on an immediate cease-fire is well known," said Frederick Jones, a spokesman for the National Security Council. "Our position has not changed."

Rice, who left Sunday for meetings in Italy and Israel, made a surprise stop in Beirut to discuss the conflict. She has said a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah would have to be made on terms that would ensure its longevity.

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