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Anniversary Of Hariri Murder


This month marks the first anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and twenty-one others in a car bombing. Mr. Hariri was an opponent of Syria's occupation of Lebanon and Syrian meddling in Lebanese affairs. Here is U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack:

"We recall. . . .the legacy of Rafik Hariri who symbolizes Lebanon's resilience after decades of civil war and turmoil and its determination to rebuild itself into a free, democratic and prosperous nation. Those who killed Mr. Hariri and twenty-one others. . . .tried to suppress that work and ensure that Lebanon remains subject to foreign domination. They have failed to do so, due to the foundation of freedom laid by Mr. Hariri and the determination of the Lebanese people."

State Department spokesman McCormack says this past year has been a time of significant change for the people of Lebanon:

"They have compelled Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon, and they have held free and fair parliamentary elections. Much remains to be done, but the forces of repression will not stifle the voices of freedom, and the Lebanese people will prevail. The United States and the international community remain united with the people of Lebanon in their determination to bring those responsible for this heinous crime and other subsequent acts of terrorism to justice."

In two interim reports, United Nations investigators said high-ranking Syrian officials, along with some senior Lebanese intelligence officers, may have been involved in the assassination of Mr. Hariri. Unfortunately, the Syrian government continues to obstruct the U.N. investigation into the murders.

In the words of President George W. Bush, the U.S., the U.N., and the Lebanese people share a "mutual desire for Lebanon to be free; free of foreign influence, free of Syrian intimidation, free to chart its own course. We expect there to be a full and firm investigation," Mr. Bush said, "and the people who were responsible need to be held to account."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.

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