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Security Council, Ban deplore deadly bombing in northern Lebanon

13 August 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council today condemned this morning’s bombing in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, voicing hope that it will not impede recent political progress in the Middle Eastern nation.

Media reports say the bombing has claimed at least 10 lives, including those of several soldiers.

According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “believes this attack should not hinder the positive steps that have been taken to return the country to normalcy.”

He extended his condolences and sympathies to the Lebanese Government and to the victims and their families, including members of the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Later today, in a statement to the press read out by Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, the 15-member panel also spoke out against the attack.

Council members “underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice, commended the commitment of the Government of Lebanon to this end and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Lebanese authorities,” the statement said.

Mr. Grauls added that Council members stressed both the need for an end to impunity in Lebanon and the importance of the unity of the Lebanese people.

“They also reiterated their full support for all ongoing efforts in Lebanon to combat terrorism, solidify democratic institutions, engage in political dialogue, and pursue national reconciliation,” he said.

Last month, the Secretary-General welcomed the announcement of the formation of a national unity Government in Lebanon, a key step called for in the agreement reached in late May ending the protracted political stand-off in the country.

Mr. Ban “believes that this important event reflects Lebanon's continuing emergence from the political crisis and the revitalization of its constitutional institutions,” his spokesperson said in a statement at the time.



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