US President George W Bush vowed to work with the United Nations for what he called "a sustainable peace" in Lebanon as the US government announced Israel would suspend the bombing of Lebanon for two days.
The White House described Sunday's air strike on the southern Lebanese town of Qana that killed more than 50 civilians -- including over 30 children -- as "horrible" and urged Israel to show restraint.
Bush himself did not mention the attack by name but said the latest losses of civilian life demanded that world powers work together to resolve the crisis through the United Nations.
"The United States is resolved to work with members of the United Nations Security Council to develop a resolution that will enable the region to have a sustainable peace, a peace that lasts, a peace that will enable mothers and fathers to raise their children in a hopeful world," Bush said.
"The current situation in the Middle East is a reminder that all of us must work together to achieve a sustainable peace," he said.
Bush has so far resisted backing a UN resolution proposed by France demanding an immediate ceasefire. But Washington's closest allies used language on Sunday that showed they were not willing to give the Israeli offensive much more time.
The Qana strike prompted British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to underline "the urgency of the need for a ceasefire as soon as possible.