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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Nov 29th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow US and Western Governments arrow Clinton Stresses Full Support for Lebanon, Pledges $6 Million for Tribunal
Clinton Stresses Full Support for Lebanon, Pledges $6 Million for Tribunal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet   
Friday, 13 February 2009


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told MP Saad Hariri that her country was committed to Lebanon's independence as the country prepares to commemorate the fourth anniversary of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination.

Hariri's press office said Clinton stressed in a telephone conversation with the Mustaqbal movement leader her country's "full commitment to Lebanon's independence and sovereignty."

She told him that the U.S. would continue to back the Lebanese government and work on improving U.S.-Lebanese ties.

The top U.S. diplomat also stressed to Hariri her country's commitment to the international tribunal that would try his father's suspected assassins.

In a statement issued Thursday, Clinton also said the massive car bomb that killed Hariri and 22 other people on Feb. 14, 2005, was aimed at silencing Lebanese who were "calling out for independence and sovereignty."

"As evidence of our continued commitment to promoting justice in Lebanon, the United States pledges $6 million for the second year of the (international) tribunal's operations, subject to Congressional approval of the FY09 budget, in addition to the $14 million already contributed," she stressed.

She praised the Lebanese for spoiling the killers' plans and continuing their fight for a free Lebanon.

The Cedar Revolution that followed Hariri's killing "amplified the voices of those seeking justice and democracy, culminating in Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon. Undeterred by continuing political violence, these forces have bravely continued their fight for a free and independent Lebanese state," she said.

Syria has denied involvement in the Hariri killing but eventually withdrew its forces.

Clinton said the U.S. is confident that the international tribunal "will bring to justice those responsible for financing, planning, and carrying out the assassination."

She said the U.S. remains "committed to working together for a peaceful, prosperous and sovereign Lebanon."

On U.N. Security Council Resolutions on Lebanon, the Secretary of State said: "The United States also continues its unwavering support for full implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 1559, including their calls for all arms in Lebanon to be brought under state control and the delineation of Lebanon's borders."

She also pledged support for Lebanese authorities' efforts to ensure that the June 7 parliamentary elections "are free, fair, transparent, and unmarred by political violence."

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said that Clinton supported the building of "healthy U.S.-Syrian ties," An-Nahar daily reported.

Abul Gheit was speaking after talks with Clinton in Washington Thursday night.

Clinton told Abul Gheit that the U.S. administration still had "some requirements" with regards to normalizing ties with Syria. She added that the coming months will show to what level these ties, "which we support," have developed, Abul Gheit said quoting the U.S. official.

Clinton told her Egyptian counterpart that the resumption of "normal ties between Damascus and the West will have a positive impact on the situation in the Middle East."

Beirut, 13 Feb 09, 09:01


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