(AP) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday she will push for a cease-fire and a "lasting settlement" in the conflict between Lebanon and Israel through a U.N. Security Council resolution this week.
"I am convinced that only by achieving both will the Lebanese people be able to control their country and their future, and the people of Israel finally be able to live free of attack from terrorist groups in Lebanon," Rice told reporters here before departing for Washington, reports Trend.
For eight days, Rice has been in meetings around the globe, trying to find a consensus to end the 20 days of fighting between Israel and Lebanon-based Hezbollah. She said the U.N. resolution that she will call for will include a cease-fire, political components to address issues that have repeatedly sparked fighting between the two countries and the authorization of an international force to help secure Lebanon.
Rice did not provide significant details on how the U.N. resolution that she will seek would address the difficult political problems between the two states. Lebanon and Israel have disputed their border and other issues for decades.
Rice also welcomed Israel's decision to conditionally suspend air attacks on southern Lebanon for 48 hours, and hoped the suspension would be renewed.
"These are important, yet temporary measures," she said. "An urgent and more permanent end to this violence is something that we all want, and that we all must work together to achieve."
Rice moved quickly Sunday after an Israeli bomb strike killed a number of children and won a bombing suspension from Israel that capped a weekend of diplomatic disappointments.
The bombing had scarred her weeklong mission to halt the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, prompting her to scrap a planned meeting with Lebanon's prime minister and arrange to return to Washington for consultation with President Bush.
Rice now goes home to Washington hoping to handle diplomatic negotiations from there for a "truly lasting settlement."
During her frenetic schedule of meetings with international leaders, she said she found consensus that armed groups such as Hezbollah must be prohibited in areas where the international force is ultimately deployed. She also said that Hezbollah should be disarmed, which will no doubt be a formidable task.
She also called for an international embargo against the delivery of weapons to any entity but the government of Lebanon. The United States has blamed Iran and Syria for supporting and supplying Hezbollah, which it considers a terror group.
Rice said she also found international agreement on an international stabilization force that would support the urgent humanitarian work for the embattled Lebanese people and assist the country's armed forces to police Lebanon's 233-mile-long border with Syria.
The top U.S. diplomat said she has been "deeply grieved by the tragic losses we have witnessed, especially the deaths of children, Lebanese and Israeli. Too many families have been displaced from their homes. Too many people urgently need medical care or are living in shelters."