U.S. Says Shatah Murder an 'Abhorrent Terrorist Attack', Reiterates Support for STLإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The United States on Friday deplored the assassination of former minister Mohammed Shatah as an “abhorrent terrorist attack,” urging the Lebanese to respect the Taif and Baabda agreements and reiterating its support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
“On behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the United States, I condemn in the strongest possible terms today's abhorrent terrorist attack and assassination of former Lebanese Cabinet Minister Mohammed Shatah in Beirut,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.
“This is a terrible loss for Lebanon, the Lebanese people and for the United States,” he added.
“I had the privilege of spending many hours with Shatah during my visits to Beirut as a United States Senator, and I know he was a voice of reason, responsibility and moderation. His presence will be missed, but his vision for a united Lebanon, free from sectarian violence and destabilizing interference, will continue to guide our efforts,” Kerry went on to say.
The top U.S. diplomat said the Obama administration “supports Lebanon as its leaders work to bring those responsible for this heinous and cowardly attack to justice under the rule of law.”
“Such actions cannot be allowed to take place with impunity. This is why we fully support the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and its efforts to find and hold accountable those responsible for these reprehensible and destabilizing acts,” added Kerry.
He noted that these acts only “reinforce the strength and resolve of our commitment to support legitimate, unifying security forces in Lebanon, such as the Lebanese Armed Forces.”
It also shows the importance of “all parties adhering to the Taif and Baabda agreements and U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1710, and fulfilling their commitments to all of those principles, so that Lebanon maintains its sovereignty and stability,” Kerry added.
“We stand with the Lebanese people at this time and will continue to do so,” he stressed.
Shatah -- a former finance minister and an adviser to ex-Premier Saad Hariri -- was killed in a powerful car bombing in the Starco area in central Beirut as he was heading to a March 14 meeting at the Center House.
Several people were killed and dozens others were also wounded in the attack.