Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rice visit cancelled after deadly raids

The Australian

"LEBANON told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today it could not meet with her before a ceasefire ends a 19-day-old Israeli offensive.

Lebanese officials said Dr Rice, who was due in Beirut later in the day, was told of the Lebanese position after an Israeli air strike killed at least 51 civilians in southern Lebanon.

They said Dr Rice's visit to Beirut had been cancelled.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora denounced the deadly raids as a "war crime", vowing there was no place for talks until Israel ceased its attacks.

"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 now," Mr Siniora said at a press conference."

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