HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING
BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Monday, February 14, 2005
UNITED NATIONS CONDEMNS ASSASSINATION
OF FORMER LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER
- Secretary-General Kofi Annan has learned with great sadness and shock of the brutal murder in the heart of Beirut today of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon and a number of others.
- Mr. Hariri’s death is an immense loss to Lebanon, the region and the international community. He will always be remembered for his dedication to the people of Lebanon, for his success as a statesman and a businessman, for his great achievements in the reconstruction of Lebanon after a long and ugly conflict, and for his courage and directness in public and in private.
- The Secretary-General sends his deepest condolences to Mr. Hariri’s wife and family, as well as to all the other bereaved families.
- The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms those who instigated, planned and executed this callous political assassination. Such acts are a reversion to a chapter in Lebanon’s history that he had hoped was long past. It is imperative that the already fragile situation in the region should not be further destabilized.
- Meanwhile, the Secretary-General urges all Lebanese to exercise utmost restraint, and to use peaceful means in support of their national aspiration to full sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
- Asked what the statement’s reference to a “reversion” to Lebanon’s past meant, the Spokesman said that the Secretary-General hopes that there will be no return to the violence, destruction and death that took place during the Lebanese civil war. The Spokesman added that this is a warning signal, and the Secretary-General urges the Lebanese to pull back, think hard and not return to the days of the civil war.
- Following Security Council consultations, the Security Council President spoke to the press, saying that Council members also condemned the assassination in Lebanon.
Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
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