Obama Meets Sarkozy: We Are All Deeply Concerned with Special Tribunal

U.S. President Barack Obama has expressed concern over the crisis that has erupted in Lebanon over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

"I think we are all deeply concerned with the special tribunal there (Lebanon) and making sure that justice is appropriately served," Obama said Monday following talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Oval Office.

Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted French sources as saying Tuesday that the two leaders didn't discuss the issue of the tribunal at length because both sides "are in agreement that the court should continue its path without interference."

The sources said that "Sarkozy is hoping to convince Obama to increase the U.S. engagement with Syria to encourage it to make more positive steps in Lebanon."

During the talks, Sarkozy warned against showing weakness to "barbaric" terrorists, after two Frenchmen died in a failed French bid to free them from al-Qaida-linked militants in Africa.

The French president accepted condolences from Obama over the deaths of the hostages, who were kidnapped in Niger and killed by their captors in Mali during a rescue attempt Saturday.

Sarkozy, in Washington for talks focusing on the G20 and the G8 global economic groupings, which France is chairing this year, said the United States and France stood united against terrorism.

Sarkozy arrived in Washington Monday as Americans were digesting the shock of a shooting rampage in Arizona on Saturday, which wounded a U.S. congresswoman, and killed six people including a nine-year-old girl.

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