UN SG renews support for Lebanon tribunal

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Sunday renewed his support for the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) [official website], which is investigating the 2005 murders of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] and 22 others. Ban met [UN News report] with current Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the slain Prime Minister, in New York to emphasize the important role the STL plays in addressing impunity in the country. The Secretary General and the Prime Minister also addressed regional and other efforts to promote stability, including various aspects of Security Council resolution 1701 [text], which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive], particularly ongoing Israeli airspace violations.

In November, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [official profile] urged Hezbollah not to resort to violence [text, JURIST report] in an attempt to impede the investigation of the STL. In an interview published by the Lebanese Newspaper An-Nahar [official website], Clinton reiterated US support for Lebanon and noted that the work of the STL is "legitimate and necessary." She also stressed the independence of the tribunal and that "no one knows what the Special Tribunal is going to do, who it might indict, or when it might choose to move forward." Clinton's interview followed remarks made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah [BBC profile], who said he would "cut off the hands" of any person attempting to arrest a Hezbollah member in connection with the murder. Nasrallah has previously called for all Lebanese to boycott the STL [JURIST report] after information surfaced suggesting that the tribunal is set to implicate members of Hezbollah as participants in the assassination of Hariri.

 

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