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Bolton: US Considering How to Respond to UN Report on Hariri Death

21 October 2005

A leading U.S. diplomat says Washington is considering a range of options on what to do about a United Nations report implicating top Syrian intelligence officials in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Washington's U.N. Ambassador John Bolton Friday called the report by investigator Detlev Mehlis "very significant" and "very hard-hitting." The report suggests that the February assassination could not have taken place without the knowledge of senior Syrian intelligence officials.

Mr. Bolton said the document refers to what he termed Syrian "obstruction of justice."

The United States and France are preparing Security Council resolutions that would criticize Syria for interference in Lebanese affairs. Mr. Bolton did not say whether either country might ask for sanctions against the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, the European Union Commission said it is "somewhat concerned" by what it called Syria's "limited cooperation" with the inquiry, adding that Damascus risks harming its own interests.

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