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Bush Urges U.N. Session on Syria Role in Hariri Assassination

21 October 2005

President says report on Lebanese leader's killing is "deeply disturbing"

President Bush says a United Nations report on the death of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri -- which strongly suggests Syria’s involvement -- is “deeply disturbing” and is calling on the United Nations to convene a session “as quickly as possible” to deal with the issue.

Speaking in Simi Valley, California, on October 21, Bush said the report “strongly suggests that the politically motivated assassination could not have taken place without Syrian involvement” and that it requires careful attention and response. (See related article.)

Both the United States and the United Nations have made clear that there should be “no foreign involvement in Lebanon,” Bush said.  He added that he has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to call for a U.N. session on the matter.

Following is the transcript of President Bush’s remarks:

(begin transcript)

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE TRAVEL POOL
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, California

11:50 A.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT: Today, the United Nations issued what is called the Mehlis Report. It's a report into the death of Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon, and the report is deeply disturbing. The report suggests that it is -- strongly suggests that the politically motivated assassination could not have taken place without Syrian involvement.

I called Secretary Rice this morning and instructed her to call upon the United Nations to convene a session as quickly as possible to deal with this very serious matter. We have made it clear that the position of the United States is that there be no foreign involvement in Lebanon. The United Nations made that clear through Resolution 1559. And today, a serious report came out that requires the world to look at it very carefully and respond accordingly.

Thank you all, very much.

END 11:52 A.M. PDT

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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