San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arias Comments on Middle East Violence

President Oscar Arias commented on the increasing violence in the Middle East saying Israel’s attacks on Lebanon in response to militant group Hezbollah’s actions are an “exaggerated reaction.”

“If they kidnap two soldiers and (Israel) in response bombs the Beirut airport for revenge, well, that seems disproportionate to me,” Arias told Radio Monumental, as reported by the daily La Nación.

The 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner said he plans to discuss the topic at the General Assembly of the United Nations this September in New York.

However, Libertarian Movement legislator Mario Núñez and Andrea Morales of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) yesterday urged a quicker response, calling on Arias to ask for a cease-fire, according to a statement from the Legislative Assembly.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Wednesday that 300 Lebanese have been killed, 1,000 wounded and 500,000 displaced since hostilities began last week, according to CNN.


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