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In Rome, Ministers Call for Lebanon Cease-Fire

A group of foreign ministers makes urgent calls for a sustainable cease-fire along the Israel-Lebanon border -- and the deployment of an international force under a United Nations mandate.

Many of the ministers said they wanted an immediate end to the fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah militia. But the conference could not agree on a way to achieve that.

The sessions included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterparts from Europe, Lebanon, and Arab nations. The meetings were arranged in a bid to find a "permanent" solution to the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.

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Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.