Brazil Calls US and Urges Immediate Cease-Fire in the Middle East

During talks this morning, July 20, with the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and the Israeli ambassador in Brazil, Tzipora Rimon, the Brazilian foreign minister, Celso Amorim has called for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East.

Amorim also talked by telephone, yesterday, with UN Secretary Kofi Annan. In the three occasions he stressed the Brazilian position that hostilities should cease immediately, that Israel is using disproportionate force and protested against the killing of at least 7 Brazilians in Lebanon, 3 of them children.

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry released a note about the Brazilian position about he Israeli-Hezbollah hostilities: "Minister Amorim stressed the disproportionate character of the Israeli military reaction.

"Dealing specifically with the Brazilian situation, he asked cooperation to insure that the Israeli authorities contain their military actions so that the risks of hitting Brazilian nationals
be lessened."

Talking to ambassador Rimon, says the note, Amorim "showed great concern at the escalation of the military conflict in Lebanon." The ambassador urged Israel not to attack areas identified as having a big concentration of Brazilians or roads being used by Brazilians trying to leave the country.

Amorim also met with Abdullah Gul, the Turkish foreign minister and thanked him for his country’s help in rescuing Brazilians stranded in Lebanon.
 
There are hundreds of Brazilians in Lebanon, but Brazil’s rescue operation carried out with a single old Boeing 707 has only taken around 100 Brazilian back home until now.

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