Lebanon: On second anniversary of Hariri murder, Ban Ki-moon calls for dialogue

Lebanon: On second anniversary of Hariri murder, Ban Ki-moon calls for dialogue

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On the second anniversary of the massive car bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others in Beirut, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed today that the United Nations remains committed to helping Lebanon “uncover the truth and bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable act.”

Mr. Ban reiterated his sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Lebanese Government and people, his spokesperson said in a statement.

“At this critical point for Lebanon, and as homage for other lives lost, it is important that all sides return to dialogue and seek the reconciliation, national unity and stability for which Rafik Hariri worked during his lifetime,” the statement added.

Yesterday three people were killed and at least 18 others injured when terrorists bombed two commuter buses in Ain Aaleq, near the mainly Christian town of Bikfaya, prompting Mr. Ban, the Security Council and Geir O. Pedersen, the newly appointed UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, to each issue statements expressing outrage at the attacks.

They emphasized the need for an end to impunity and urged the Lebanese to maintain national unity, whatever their differences on how best to achieve stability and security, against those who attempt to secure their political objectives through violence.

The Security Council set up the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) to examine the Hariri assassination and 14 other bombings in Lebanon, and earlier this month the UN signed an agreement with Lebanon to establish a Special Tribunal to prosecute the suspected killers of Mr. Hariri. The Lebanese Government now has to approve and ratify the agreement for it to enter into force.