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U.N. Security Council Condemns Tueni Assassination in Lebanon

12 December 2005

Council "will not be intimidated" by terrorists, says U.S. envoy to United Nations

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- The Security Council condemned the assassination of Lebanese journalist and parliament member Gibran Tueni and warned that the perpetrators of the attacks will be held accountable.

The council unanimously adopted a presidential statement on December 12, just hours after Tueni and three others were killed in an explosion that destroyed his armored vehicle. The attack occurred soon after Tueni's return from Paris, where he had lived for several months fearing assassination.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said the statement shows that "as with the Lebanese people, the Security Council will not be intimidated by these terrorist acts."

In a statement read by President Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom, the Security Council condemned "in the strongest terms" the terrorist bombing and called Tueni "a patriot who was an outspoken symbol of freedom and the sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon."

The council stated "its deepest concern about the destabilizing impact of political assassinations and other terrorist acts in Lebanon" and warned that the sponsors of such attacks "will not be permitted to succeed and will finally be held accountable for their crimes."

Welcoming Lebanon's "determination and commitment to bring to justice all those responsible for this assassination and others before," the council said that it would "consider positively any request for assistance in this regard."

The statement was issued as the 15-nation council received a second report from the commission it established earlier this year to investigate the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.  The head of the inquiry, Detlev Mehlis, is scheduled to meet with the council December 13. (See related article.)

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was "shocked and dismayed" to learn of the "cold-blooded murder" and called for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, according to a statement issued by his spokesman.  "The perpetrators and instigators of today's and other attacks must be brought to justice to ensure an end to impunity." (See related article.)

"This tragic assassination today is the latest in a vicious campaign against Lebanese citizens, journalists, political leaders, and their right to freedom of expression," the U.N. spokesman said.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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