U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Israel as part of her diplomatic tour focused on the Jewish state's conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Rice will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday, before heading to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
On Monday, Rice held talks in war-torn Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. Rice thanked the Lebanese leader for his "courage and steadfastness" and said she is very concerned about what the Lebanese people are enduring.
Rice also met with Lebanese parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, a negotiator for Hezbollah. An aide to Berri says he rejected a proposal by Rice calling for the withdrawal of Hezbollah to at least 20 kilometers from the Israeli border and the deployment of an international force in south Lebanon.
On Wednesday, Rice is due to attend an international conference in Rome and hold more talks on the crisis with European, Arab and U.N. officials.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan says delegates at that meeting need to agree to a concrete strategy to end the violence.
On her way to the Middle East, Rice stressed any ceasefire must address the root cause of the current conflict -- the threat Hezbollah poses to Israel. She says Iran and Syria's active support for the militants has fanned the flames of conflict.