Jerusalem, July 30: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking after the Israeli bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana, said it was time to reach a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas.
She said she was saddened by the bombing and confirmed that she had cancelled a planned trip to Beirut, but would stay in Israel to try to work out a deal for ending the 19-day-old conflict.
''I think it is time to get to a ceasefire ... We actually have to try and put one in place,'' Rice told reporters in Jerusalem.
''My work towards a ceasefire is really here today.'' But Rice reiterated that a ceasefire could not mean a return to the position before the war, which was triggered by Hizbollah's abduction of two Israeli soldiers in a raid out of south Lebanon on July 12.
Both Israel and the United States have said they want to ensure that Hizbollah can no longer carry out raids and rocket attacks and that it is eventually disarmed under a UN resolution.
''We have to try and do our work well so that there will not be more and more and more incidents over many, many more years,'' Rice said.