14 August 2006

Methodist Church welcomes ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel

Welcoming the ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon that began this morning, Anthea Cox, Methodist Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice said;

'We have to recognise this as being a positive move towards peace for the people of Israel and Lebanon, but it is only the first step on what could be a long road. It is vital that both Israel and Hezbollah continue to observe the ceasefire and work towards a lasting peace. To avoid an early breakdown of negotiations is it essential that an international peacekeeping force is soon able to move into Israeli-occupied areas of Lebanon, that Israel progressively scales down its military operation in preparation for a withdrawal and that Lebanese talks about disarming Hezbollah be resumed.

'Too many people have been killed in the conflict on both sides and many more left homeless and injured. This ceasefire gives the opportunity for authorities to allow humanitarian aid into those areas most affected by the conflict. Peace is more than just the absence of war and we pray that this ceasefire would bring hope to all those affected by this struggle'.

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