US to double funds for Lebanon PM murder trial tribunal

February 15th, 2008 - 12:09 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Feb 15 (Xinhua) The US will double its funding of a UN tribunal on the assassination three years ago of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. The financial support will increase from the previous $7 million to $14 million to help fund the UN tribunal’s one-year budget, Rice said in a statement issued to mark the anniversary of Hariri’s assassination Feb 14, 2005.

The UN decided in May 2007 to set up a special tribunal to try those responsible for the assassination of Hariri, whose killing triggered international pressure that forced Syria to end its 29-year military presence in Lebanon.

In commemoration of Hariri’s death, Rice said the US and the international community support efforts for “a strong, democratic state” in Lebanon.

Also on Thursday, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters the anniversary “is a reminder to the world and to people of Lebanon about the sacrifices that many around the world and in Lebanon are making to build a strong, democratic state”.

“And it is also a date on which we will take the opportunity to underline to the Lebanese people that we are fully supportive and stand with those who want to build a better Lebanon, a free Lebanon, a democratic Lebanon and one that stands independent and unfettered from foreign interference,” the spokesman said.

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