The crisis in the Middle East continues. It was triggered by the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah and by Hezbollah's launching of missiles at towns and cities in northern Israel. Israel responded by attacking Hezbollah sites in Lebanon.
President George W. Bush said that the United States is "mindful of the cost to innocent civilians":
"We have called on Israel to continue to exercise the greatest possible care to protect innocent lives."
"Throughout this crisis," says Mr. Bush, the U.S. has "spoken to leaders in the Middle East and around the world":
"Our efforts to resolve this dangerous situation are guided by an international framework that is already in place. In 2004, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution fifteen-fifty-nine, which recognizes the sovereignty of Lebanon, calls for all foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon, and calls for the disbanding of all militias. Hezbollah defied the world's just demands by maintaining armed units in the southern region of Lebanon and attacking Israel in defiance of the democratically elected Lebanese government."
Mr. Bush says, "For many years, Syria has been a primary sponsor of Hezbollah and it has helped provide Hezbollah with shipments of Iranian-made weapons":
"Iran's regime has also repeatedly defied the international community with its ambitions for nuclear weapons and aid to terrorist groups. Their actions threaten the entire Middle East and stand in the way of resolving the current crisis and bringing lasting peace to this troubled region."
The United States and its partners, says Mr. Bush, "will continue to seek a return to the road map for peace in the Middle East." But, he says, "In the long-term, this peace will come only by defeating the terrorist ideology of hatred and fear."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.