CRAWFORD: US President George W Bush on Saturday praised a UN resolution aimed at ending the Lebanon crisis and blamed Hezbollah, Iran and Syria for starting an "unwanted war" in the region.
"I welcome the resolution adopted yesterday by the United Nations Security Council, which is designed to bring an immediate end to the fighting," Bush said in a statement from his Texas ranch.
"I now urge the international community to turn words into action and make every effort to bring lasting peace to the region," Bush said after the council unanimously called for an end to the bloody four-week-old conflict.
Bush said the crisis had been touched off by "an unprovoked terrorist attack on Israel by Hezbollah, a terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria."
"The loss of innocent life in both Lebanon and Israel has been a great tragedy. Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian sponsors have brought an unwanted war to the people of Lebanon and Israel, and millions have suffered as a result," he said.
"The United States and its allies have been working hard since the beginning of this conflict to create the conditions for an enduring ceasefire and prevent armed militias and foreign-sponsored terrorist groups like Hezbollah from sparking another crisis," he said.
Bush said the resolution sought to end Hezbollah's attacks on Israel and "bring a halt to Israel's offensive military operations," while calling for an arms embargo against militia groups in Lebanon and "a robust international force" to deploy with Lebanese armed forces to southern Lebanon.
It also calls for the disarming of Hezbollah and all other militia groups operation in Lebanon, he said.
"These steps are designed to stop Hezbollah from acting as a state within a state, and put an end to Iran and Syria's efforts to hold the Lebanese people hostage to their own extremist agenda," he said.
"This in turn will help to restore the sovereignty of Lebanon's democratic government and help ensure security for the people of Lebanon and Israel," the US president said.