US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to Israel yesterday, to open what is called in the media as the “Political stage” of the war. She had a meeting with the foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister and Defense Minister on Tuesday. Then Rice will move on to Ramallah where she’ll be meeting Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen), the president of the Palestinian authority. Rice said, “I am deeply concerned about the Lebanese people and what they are enduring. I am obviously concerned about the humanitarian situation.” She added, “We all want to urgently end the fighting. We have absolutely the same goal”. But Rice also repeated our stand as she stated it also in pass references to the war, that the solution to the situation has to be a long-term one, and not just a return to the status quo that was before this conflict. “If we’ll do that then we’ll find ourselves in the same situation in three months or six months or a year, when Hizballa will decide that it wants to disturb the peace” said Rice in a press conference prior to her departure.
During their meeting, both Rice and Livni stressed the importance of the UN resolution 1559 and the G-8 resolutions: The captive soldiers must be set free and Hizballa must be disarmed to allow the Lebanonian government implement it’s authority throughout the entire of Lebanon.
“I want to make it clear that we do not have a conflict between Israel and the citizens of Lebanon” said Livnie, “But Israel has no greater responsibility then that towards its own citizens. This is a moment of truth to the Lebanonian government, and the International Community should work together to help it to implement the resolutions that were decided upon.”