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US wants action against Syria in Lebanese killing

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-10-21T214944Z_01_DIT142465_RTRUKOC_0_US-HARIRI.xml US wants action against Syria in
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 21, 2005
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      US wants action against Syria in Lebanese killing
      Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:49 PM ET167

      By Evelyn Leopold

      UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. President George W.
      Bush called on the United Nations on Friday to quickly
      meet and consider a response to an investigation that
      implicated Syrian officials in the assassination of
      former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

      Hariri and 20 others were killed on February 14 by a
      bomb in Beirut. A U.N. report said the decision to
      kill Hariri "could not have been taken without the
      approval of top-ranked Syrian security officials"
      colluding with counterparts in Lebanon.

      Syrian officials in Damascus, Washington and at the
      United Nations dismissed the report as political and
      said the charges were false.

      "The report is deeply disturbing," Bush said, adding
      that he had asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
      to request that the United Nations "convene a session
      as quickly as possible" to discuss the report.

      British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Security
      Council members would consider sanctions but he did
      not elaborate on how much support such a proposal
      would get.

      A council session has already been planned for
      Tuesday. It may ask for Syria to cooperate with the
      U.N. investigation led by German prosecutor Detlev
      Mehlis, who released a 53-page report late on
      Thursday. But it is uncertain whether Bush was seeking
      a larger, higher-level session.

      U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan extended the Mehlis
      investigation for three months, which suggests no
      strong action is expected until the probe ends on
      December 15.

      U.S. ambassador John Bolton said the first order of
      business was to make sure Syria cooperated with the
      probe, which faulted Damascus for giving false
      information.

      "In the absence of serious Syrian cooperation on
      substantive matters, the mission can't get to the
      ultimate truth," Bolton told reporters in New York.
      "That is what is seems to me the focus the U.N.
      Security Council should be."

      The Bush administration has been at odds with Syria
      for quite some time, accusing Damascus of doing too
      little to stop foreign fighters from entering
      neighboring Iraq. Syria, in turn, says the United
      States has not done enough to secure the border or
      deliver technical help it has promised.

      DISPUTE OVER REPORT CONTENT
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