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Lebanon Cancels Talks With Rice After Israeli Strike in Qana


Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called off a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after Sunday's Israeli strike in southern Lebanon.

Mr. Siniora says the only topics that should be discussed now are an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and an international investigation into what he calls "Israeli massacres."

Ms. Rice spoke by telephone with Mr. Siniora Sunday and said she was deeply saddened by the civilian deaths. She called for a ceasefire as soon as possible, but did not urge an immediate end to the violence.

U.S. officials say Rice will return to Washington Monday from Israel, where she met Saturday with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He has expressed "deep sorrow" over the civilian deaths.

The United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting today on the Middle East.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana says nothing can justify the civilian deaths. France has drawn up a draft U.N. resolution that calls for an immediate truce, and prepares for a peace mission monitored by international forces.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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