Shakira - Lebanon - Israel

Lebanese-Colombian rock superstar Shakira called for diplomatic intervention and an immediate ceasefire to end the escalating crisis in the Middle East, according to a statement released here by her record label Sony.

"It's urgent that there is an international diplomatic intervention," Shakira said Friday in Greece, where she is currently on tour. "War is not the answer. War is not the solution to any conflict -- not today, not in this century.

"I am sad, I guess like the rest of the world is, to know that because of this conflict so many innocent mothers and children are dying," she said.

"We want something better for our kids -- the kids in Colombia, the kids in Israel, the kids of Palestine, the kids of the world. ... We don't need leaders that create more divisions and resentment and more hatred. We need leaders that care about the people and about the social needs of a nation."

More than 350 people have been killed in the conflict since Israel launched an offensive against the militant Shiite group Hezbollah in Lebanon in response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

Shakira -- who took home the Grammy for best Latin alternative rock album earlier this year, for "Oral Fixation Vol. 1" -- became an instant international pop sensation after releasing her first English material in 2001.

The 29-year-old singer-songwriter has said she is "very proud" of her Arab heritage, and credits her Lebanese roots for inspiring her trademark hip-shaking belly-dance moves.


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