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Friday, March 25, 2005 

Lebanon accepts international inquiry

In the last few minutes Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud has said Lebanon will co-operate with an international inquiry into the murder of Rafiq Hariri.

And President Emile Lahoud has told Kofi Annan to do 'whatever is necessary' to uncover the truth.

The UN published it's report into Hariri's death yesterday and lambasted the Lebanese security services for failing to investigate the death properly. The UN said evidence was contaminated, and the road was re-opened too quickly. They said the Lebanese report failed to come to any conlusions, and said an international inquiry was essential.

Until this evening Leabnon was insisting there would be no inquiry.

The UN did not blame the Lebanese or Syrian security services (which have now withdrawn to the border region). But they did imply that Syria take some of the responsibility by isolating Hariri when Syria pressured MPs to extend President Lahoud's term of office last September.

When Israel was accused of a massacre in the Jenin refugee camp, the international community insisted on an inquiry. Israel refused. The UN set up a team to go to the West Bank and investigate but it was disbanded after Israel refused them entry three times.

hey Sarouja guy, your blog is one of the best Syrian blogs, and by the way:
that's my website, read about Souk Sarouja (The Small Istanbul) as it was called...

Thank you very much Amr! I'm really glad you appreciate the newsblog.

I really like your site, I've told my friends around the world about it - I didn't know it was your site! Very glad to meet you Amr.

I'll be adding loads and loads more links to Syrian and Lebanese sites and blogs in the next few days.

I fail to see the connection with Jenin.

This is like telling a judge that you shouldn't be in court answering to charges brought against you because your neighbor who also happens to be your enemy had an unrelated charge on a totally different case dismissed by the same court.

By the way, by invoking Jenin you are in fact comparing Syria's role in Lebanon to Israel's role in Palestine. Which is very interesting.

It's not that he was dismissed by the court - he failed to turn up, or recognise the legitimacy of the court!

There is a legitimate comparison between the UN's investigation into Hariri's death, and their investigation into the Jenin massacre. Both investigations question where sovereignty ends and humanitarian intervention begins.

The debate here is about whether Lebanon is obliged to accept the investigation. International opinion would be to say yes, if there's a general perception of a cover-up. But Jenin gives a fairly powerful precedent for saying no.

There was no further international pressure, the matter was dropped, and Israel received no sanction.

I don't need to make parallels between Syria's role in Lebanon and Israel's role in Palestine/Syria: Imad Moustapha, Syria's Ambassador to the US has already done so! He said we are pulling out of Lebanon, and we hope Israel and America will do the same in Palestine/Syria and Iraq.

Syria has never been recognised as an occupying power by the UN or any other country - including the United States! (Despite the recent musings of President Bush). Legally, an occupation exists when a country exerts 'authority' over another country.

Whatever you say about Lebanese democracy and the influence Syria has, there has never been any direct authority. It is more akin to the relationship between the USSR and its client states which often had Russian troops stationed in them: they certainly weren't occupied. And very few had a democracy as lively as the Lebanese!

Thank you very much Marsden. I'm glad you like it, if you have any suggestions to improve it, I'd love to hear...

I discovered your blog a few days ago and I think it's fantastic! I don't agree with everything, but you are a passionate writer. I'm learning a lot.

I'll be updating my links soon!

You are Armenian Lebanese living in Canada is that right? You must visit Damascus!

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  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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