Monday, August 21, 2006
Bush: 'Urgent need' for 'effective' Lebanon force
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Monday called for an "effective international force" in southern Lebanon to ensure the shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants holds.

"The international community must now designate the leadership of this new international force, give it robust rules of engagement and deploy it as quickly as possible to secure the peace," Bush said at a news conference. (Full story)

Some countries have hesitated to contribute troops to the U.N. force, called for under U.N. Resolution 1701, because a clear mandate has yet to be spelled out. While vowing the United States "will do our part," the president ruled out contributing troops because of opposition from Lebanon and Israel.

Deploying an international force would expedite the delivery of humanitarian aid, said Bush. The United States has sent 25,000 tons of wheat, vowed $230 million for Lebanon's infrastructure, is considering a $42 million pledge to help train Lebanese forces and will send an "oil response team" to address spillage on Lebanon's coast.
Posted By CNN's Washington Bureau: 8/21/2006 10:40:00 AM ET | Permalink
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