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Lebanese President Calls Hariri Murder a Conspiracy that Serves Israel | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Lebanon”s President reaffirmed his trust in the judiciary and its ability to uncover the truth in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on 14th February, 2005 which he described as “the biggest conspiracy the country has ever been exposed to”. He urged Lebanon’s citizens to “learn form the mistakes of the past and let the Lebanese judiciary do its job in cooperation with the international community.”

Speaking during a meeting on Monday with an inter-sectarian youth delegation at the presidential palace, General Emile Lahoud said, “The criminal murder of Prime Minister Hariri was not only aimed at attacking the stability of Lebanon but also demolishing all the national accomplishments of the last few years. It also targeted the strategic choices and Lebanon”s national policy regarding its unity, the protection of the national resistance and its stance in the Arab Israeli conflict”, he said. The conspiracy serves “Israel and its antagonistic and expansionist policies. It also aims at putting pressure on Lebanon and Syria in these critical times that the Arab nation is passing through.”

Commenting on the UN probe into the murder, headed by Detlev Mehlis, Lahoud said, “The ongoing Lebanese and international investigations need to continue until an indictment is reached and then a trial takes place. Only then will the truth be known and the Lebanese will discover all the aspects of his heinous crime.”

In reply to a question by a member of the visiting delegation, the Lebanese President said, “Today, we are at a crossroads. The Lebanese need to learn from the mistakes of the past. They have to let the Lebanese judiciary play its role in collaboration with the international community, far from interference, because we have faith in the judiciary and its ability to uncover the whole truth, based on information and evidence.”

Asked about the upcoming presidential elections, Lahoud said, “The target of the current campaign for the presidency is not just the President but the policies he represents and which he has followed since his time as a army commander”, stressing that he would not give in to the pressure, even if he found himself isolated and warned against “targeting the national resistance, the unity of Lebanon, land and people and institutions.”

On the Lebanese position regarding Security Council Resolution 1559, Lahoud indicated, “Lebanon respects all international treaties and no one can dispute their legality. But, on the subject of resolution 1559, the Lebanese are united in believing the section on the resistance should be dealt with through national dialogue. The Lebanese are better placed to deal with sensitive issues relating to national reconciliation and how to safeguard their unity and their sovereignty.”

For his part, speaking to reporters after visiting Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, former Cabinet minister, Suleiman Franjieh said, “We are passing through very dangerous times in the region. Many believe that we are distant from everything happening. Everything which happens against Syria, no one in Lebanon or the region should think they are exempt from it. The negative impact will be strongest in Lebanon if the Syria regime is targeted. Those trying to create a schism between the Syrian regime and the Syria people are threatening the entire region.”