New York City, Asharq Al-Awsat- Lebanese MP and leader of the parliamentary majority, Saad Hariri., currently in the U.S for a series of meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, reaffirmed the importance of discovering the identities of those responsible for his father, former Prime Minister, Rafik Harir’s murder, and indicated his intention to complete his four-year term as representative.
He denied wanting to eclipse Lebanese President Emile Lahoud who was also attending the session, indicating the purpose of his visit was to maintain the excellent relations his father enjoyed with world leaders. “Lebanon needs all its friends and allies", he said. Refusing to be drawn into a discussion about whether Lahoud should resign, he said, "“It is still too early. I don’t believe too many significant development will occur in the short term. I will discuss this at length when I return to Lebanon.”
Asharq al Awsat spoke to Hariri and asked him about the ongoing UN investigation into his father”s murder. He reaffirmed his support for international calls “to establish the truth surrounding the death of Rafik Hariri and punish those responsible.” He added, “Personally, the death of my father has left an immense and irreparable void. We need to try the murders to ensure the stability of Lebanon.”
The international support enjoyed by the UN commission "protected Lebanon, its people and politicians so they can practice true democracy.”
On his upcoming meeting with US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, Hariri said he expected the discussion to center on the conference, which the US administration is organizing next week in this city to support Lebanon, which Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is expected to attend.
Hariri praised the German investigator Detleve Mehlis and described him as “a specialist without any political affiliation who is diligently doing his job and trying to find out who committed the crime.”
Commenting on the recent arrests of four security chiefs close to the Lebanese presidency, Hariri would only say, “All that is needed is to go back to the day of the murder, 14 th February, 2005, and examine the political situation at the time. These men were not working for the benefit of Lebanon, but against the country.”
In Beirut, the investigation gathered pace, after its head, Detlev Mehlis, obtained, on Thursday, the results of the analysis of thousands of telephone conversations, which took place in specialized laboratories, in Germany and France, which apparently shed light on the identities of the perpetrators and featured discussions on the success of the operation.
The Commission also apologized for wrongly including the name of Deputy Prime Minister Elias Murr on a list of individuals who had the secrecy lifted off their accounts in Lebanon.