Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Lebanon on Tuesday to support the establishment of an international criminal tribunal to try those suspected of killing former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
In the front-page editorial in the leading Arabic-language newspaper An-Nahar, Rice warned that the United Nations would act on its own if the Lebanese parliament failed to endorse setting up such a court.
"The special tribunal for Lebanon will help end this sad era of impunity," Rice wrote in the editorial, titled "A tribunal for Lebanon: time to end impunity for murder."
The editorial was apparently aimed at assuring America's allies in Lebanon that there was no change in policy after Rice's meeting with Syria's foreign minister last week.
Lebanon's parliament must approve the tribunal, but the process has been deadlocked amid deep political divisions. Although it is supported by the U.S.-backed government, the opposition has balked at a tribunal.
Although Rice's position was not new, its publication in a Lebanese daily ensures widespread dissemination of the American view.
Rice wrote that the tribunal would not only help uncover those responsible for the killing, but help strengthen security and stability in the country. She added the United States believes the "best option" would be for the tribunal to be approved by the Lebanese parliament.
If that proves impossible, then the international community " will use every means at its disposal to further the pursuit of justice and to put an end to the current campaign of assassinations."
Last Mod: 08 Mayıs 2007, 17:18