View Full Version : Saudis Ask Bush to Intervene in Mideast

07-23-2006, 04:41 PM

Saudis Ask Bush to Intervene in Mideast

Jul 23, 4:35 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Saudi Arabia asked President Bush on Sunday to intervene in Israel's military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon to stop the mounting deaths.

"We are requesting a cease-fire to allow for a cessation of hostilities," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said after an Oval Office meeting with Bush.

Saud said he gave the president a letter from Saudi King Abdullah asking that Bush help seek an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East conflict.

Saud, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, chief of the Saudi National Security Council, met with Bush for more than an hour Sunday.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also participated in the meeting before departing for Israel in the first U.S. diplomatic effort on the ground since Israel began bombing Lebanon on July 12.

Rice and Bush have rejected calls for an immediate cease-fire, saying it does not make sense if the terrorist threat from Hezbollah is not addressed. They have said Israel has a right to defend itself from terrorism and that Hezbollah must return two captured Israeli soldiers and stop firing missiles and rockets into Israel if they want the fighting to stop.

Saud said Bush wants the violence to stop, although he did not say how Bush responded to the request for an immediate halt to Israel's bombing campaign.

"I found the president very conscious of the destruction and the bloodshed that the Lebanese are suffering," Saud said. "His commitment (is) to see the cessation of hostilities. I have heard that from him personally, and that is why he is sending Ms. Rice to work out the details."

The White House had no immediate comment on the meeting.