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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:19, July 17, 2006
Egypt urges immediate ceasefire between Israel, Lebanon
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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called on Sunday for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon.

"I'm urging an immediate, unconditional ceasefire," Mubarak was quoted by Egypt's official MENA news agency as saying.

"Egypt's top concern is a peaceful end to the conflict between Israel and Lebanon for fear of a deterioration of the situation in the region," he added.

The Egyptian president also called on Israel to end its five- day-old assault in Lebanon, which was launched after the Lebanese Shiite militia Hizbollah seized two Israeli soldiers and killed eight in cross-border clashes on Wednesday.

"Israel will not emerge as a victor in this war. It will only create more enemies," said Mubarak. "The war will only inflame Arab animosity toward Israel, many anti-Israel extremist forces will surface and Israel will find itself the loser rather than the victor in this war."

Mubarak also warned that whoever thought he could benefit from the current conflict was mistaken.

While warning Israel against more military operations, Mubarak also cautioned that other countries should resort to "wise judgement" in light of the conflict.

"Embracing any rash notions could implicate the entire region in the quagmire," he said.

In addition, Mubarak also called on the Lebanese people to unite their ranks, according to MENA.

Shortly after the Israeli-Hizbollah clashes on the border area on Wednesday, Mubarak had made phone calls to or met face-to-face with leaders of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain to discuss the conflict, MENA reported.

Egypt, one of the only two Arab countries-- the other is Jordan -- to have a peace treaty with Israel, has long played the role of mediator in regional problems, especially in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

Tensions in the Middle East have been dramatically heightened as Israel pressed ahead a massive assault in Lebanon and continued a three-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Over 100 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed and hundreds more injured in Israeli attacks.

Source: Xinhua

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