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Bishop praises President Bush for role in Mideast cease-fire

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President George W. Bush
Aug. 16, 2006

By United Methodist News Service

The president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops has written a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush, praising him for his leadership in bringing about a cease-fire between Israel and the Hezbollah militant group.

“Thank you for your leadership in the United Nations adopting the resolution which has served as the basis for the cease fire in Lebanon and Israel,” wrote Bishop Janice Riggle Huie. “We are grateful that you have worked to lay the foundation for further negotiations to bring long-term stability to the region.”

In her Aug. 15 letter, Huie urged the president to continue working through the United Nations to “broaden the participation of those who will build a base for a lasting peace.”

“You can be assured that the United Methodist Church will mobilize relief and recovery efforts as soon as possible,” Huie told Bush, who is also a United Methodist.

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Bishop Janice Huie

Huie is serving a two-year term as president of the bishops’ council and leads the denomination’s Houston Area.

The cease-fire took effect Aug. 14, after the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Aug. 11 calling for an end to the fighting. Lebanese troops, backed by international peacekeepers, will be deployed in southern Lebanon as a buffer force between Hezbollah guerrillas and Israel.

The latest round of violence began July 12, when Hezbollah guerillas attacked Israeli forces, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping two. Israel responded by attacking southern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold, and the violence escalated with retaliatory rocket attacks on northern Israel. Civilian casualties mounted on both sides of the border, and large numbers of people were forced to flee their homes.

News media contact: Tim Tanton or Stephen Drachler, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or

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