Hariri: STL Ended Era of Using Force to Impose Political Choices

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Former premier Saad Hariri on Wednesday noted that “the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was established for the sake of fulfilling justice and putting an end to political assassinations in Lebanon.”

The U.N.-backed STL, probing the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, ex-PM Rafik Hariri, was also established to “put an end to the era of using force to impose political choices and employing terrorism to take revenge on political rivals,” Hariri said.

The former premier voiced his remarks before a March 14 delegation in Riyadh.

Hariri and the Lebanese delegation -- comprising March 14 MPs and politicians, Muslim clerics and economic and media figures – were in the Saudi capital to offer condolences to King Abdullah and the kingdom’s leadership over the death of crown prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.

At a luncheon banquet he threw in the delegation’s honor at his residence in Riyadh, Hariri also stressed “the need to confront the current challenges, especially concerning the Lebanese state’s obligations towards the STL,” Hariri’s press office said in a statement.

“The assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri, similar to the other political crimes that targeted several Lebanese figures and leaders, is an issue that concerns all the Lebanese, not only a certain political or sectarian party,” Hariri told the delegation, quoted by his press office.

The former premier lauded the support offered by Saudi Arabia and its king for Lebanon, noting that “our presence here together to offer condolences over the death of crown prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz is a reflection of the depth of ties between Lebanon and the kingdom and a salutation of loyalty and respect to the soul” of the late crown prince.

World leaders, including rival Iran's foreign minister, poured into Riyadh to offer condolences on the death of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, who was buried on Tuesday in the presence of an ailing King Abdullah.

Sultan died on Saturday in a New York hospital after a long battle with illness.

More than 100 world dignitaries attended the funeral in Riyadh, including Prime Minister Najib Miqati.

Miqati and Hariri came face to face on Tuesday during their condolences to King Abdullah.

Media reports said Wednesday that the two men exchanged handshakes and kisses and then the Mustaqbal movement leader invited the PM to sit next to him after he realized that Miqati’s seat was far from where King Abdullah was sitting.

The relations between the two deteriorated after Miqati accepted the proposal of the Hizbullah-led March 8 forces to lead the cabinet after they toppled Hariri’s government earlier in the year.

On Tuesday the Hariri-led Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc strongly condemned Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s latest remarks, in which he reiterated his rejection of funding the STL.

“The Lebanese and the martyrs’ families were not surprised by Hizbullah’s position … especially as the party continues to protect its members,” who are wanted by the STL on charges of being involved in the 2005 assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri, the bloc said.

In a statement issued after its weekly meeting, the bloc added that Nasrallah’s remarks on Monday have highlighted Hizbullah’s “insistence on confronting the Lebanese and preventing them from unveiling the truth, as well as on confronting the international community and engaging Lebanon in battles that would expose it to several dangerous consequences.”

The bloc also warned that Hizbullah’s stance will prompt the international community to “question Lebanon’s credibility.”

Comments 1
Default-user-icon Michotam (Guest) 26 October 2011, 21:42

As if the killers of his father, Rafic Syria, i.e. the US and Israel, pay attention to Saad Hariri. He is what one can call and overblown bubble.