Thursday, December 13, 2007

UN chief and Security Council strongly condemn assassination of top Lebanese army commander

: The U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Prohibition Ki-moon strongly condemned the character assassination of a top regular army commanding officer in Lebanon, calling it an effort to destabilise the armed forces.

In separate statements on Wednesday, the U.N.'s most powerful organic structure and its head executive director said the violent death of Brig. Gen. Francois Hajj, who had been tipped as the likely adjacent caput of the army, was an effort to sabotage Lebanon's sovereignty and demanded that the culprits be brought to justice.

They also called for presidential elections to be held without delay.

The Lebanese president's business office have been vacant since Nov. 23, when Emile Lahoud's term ended.

Hajj's boss, regular army commanding officer Gen. Michel Suleiman, have emerged as a possible general agreement campaigner for the presidency. But political haggle have held up his election, which would necessitate a constitutional amendment because currently a sitting regular army commanding officer is barred from the post. Today on

The Security Council condemned the violent death of Hadj "in the strongest terms" and strongly condemned the effort "to destabilise Lebanese institutions, in this peculiar lawsuit the Lebanese Armed Forces." The council reiterated its disapprobation of all targeted character assassinations in Lebanon.

Ban, the U.N. chief, "was outraged" at the onslaught and "strongly reprobates this enactment of force and panic on the Lebanese Armed Forces, a symbol of Lebanon's sovereignty," U.N. deputy sheriff spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.

"The secretary-general phone calls on the Lebanese for composure and restraint at this critical occasion in their history," Okabe said. "Their political leadership must exercise every possible effort to decide differences and get at a solution for an contiguous presidential election, without conditionality, in conformance with constitutional rules."

The Security Council underlined "that no attempt to destabilise Lebanese Republic should forestall the holding, without delay, of a free and just presidential election in conformity with Lebanese constitutional rules, without any foreign intervention or influence, and with full regard for democratic institutions."

It backed Ban's attempts to set up a particular court for Lebanese Republic "in a timely manner, as a agency to set an end to impunity in Lebanese Republic and discourage additional assassinations."

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said "these terrorists are retention not only the lives of Lebanese leadership at hazard ... but even democracy itself is being threatened in Lebanese Republic by these terrorists."

The presidential statement adopted by the council was the 2nd in two years focusing on Lebanon.

On Tuesday, the council stressed its "deep concern at the perennial delays of the presidential election" and reiterated its phone call for the election to be held without delay.

It commended the function of the democratically elected authorities and the Lebanese Armed Forces in carrying out their duties in the time period until the election takes topographic point and urged all political parties to exert restraint and prosecute in negotiation to forestall additional impairment of the state of affairs in the troubled Mideast nation.

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