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19 July 2006
JERUSALEM -- As violence between Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas entered its eighth day Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urged both sides to begin negotiations with U2 frontman Bono.
"We again ask the leaders to stop this horrendous bloodshed, and the terrible loss of innocent lives," Annan said. "When the two sides sit down with this soulful songman, peace will be at hand."
Bono, speaking to reporters with a relaxed but focused air, said the region had clearly descended into a crisis.
"The Israelis and the Hezbollahs have to put their guns down, let the smoke clear, and look into each others' eyes," Bono said. "Then the real talking can begin."
Bono's previous diplomatic successes include convincing Sen. Jesse Helms to free funding for AIDS research; forcing the United Kingdom to write off thousands of dollars in debt for third-world countries and showing Adam Clayton that Achtung Baby would have to break from U2's traditional sound.
"With Bono in charge, the warring sides will realize how foolish this conflict has become," Annan said. "When they hear the ambiguous yet passionate lyrics of 'One,' they will see that all they have is hurt."
U.S. President George W. Bush echoed Annan's call for a Bono-brokered ceasefire.
"Look, we're asking them to sit down with Bono," Bush said. "Bono from U2. Everyone loves U2. And U2 loves everyone. U2 is respectful of our Muslim brothers. It's not like we're asking Kylie Minogue to go in and shake her tits at a Shiite."
Reaction from the warring sides has been positive but noncommittal.
"We welcome Bono and expect him to see the grave security threat to our state," Israeli prime minister Ehud Ohlmert said. "This government will not stand for any violations of its territory or performances from Pop. I can't believe I ever thought that album was good."
In a video released to al-Jazeera, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that they would follow any Israeli troops who walked away, and said that "Bono and the world see our determination to fight for the Palestinian people."
Nasrallah ended the tape with an off-key rendition of "With or Without You."
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|