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French Version


Security Council poised to pass Hariri tribunal

A meeting of the UN Security Council to create an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri adjourned without reaching a resolution on Monday, but the secretary general's office said that the council "obviously" appears ready to unanimously pass a measure to form the judicial body on Friday.

In a telephone interview Monday, Yves Sorokobi, a spokesman for Kofi Annan, said the council's "silence procedure" provides that "if none of the council's members show strong objections to the draft by Tuesday, then it will be considered as unanimously approved."

Annan forwarded a draft proposal on the tribunal to the council on Friday "along with a letter in which he told them that if the council didn't reach a decision, and he didn't hear any strong disagreement, then the draft is considered as approved," Sorokobi said.

"According to the ambassadors at the council, and what they said after Monday's consultation session, there were no strong objections and the draft is obviously expected to unanimously pass tomorrow," he said.

During a Friday briefing at UN headquarters in New York, Annan spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the matter of the tribunal "is in the hands of the Security Council."

Once they have given the green light for a tribunal the matter would go back to the Lebanese authorities for them to reach an agreement, in accordance with their constitutional procedures," Dujarric said.

The Lebanese Cabinet expects to discuss the UN proposal and transform it into a draft law for a subsequent Parliament vote.

The March 14 Forces, the anti-Syrian coalition that controls a majority in Lebanon's Parliament, is expected to easily pass the draft once it reaches the legislature.

However, the Cabinet is still missing six ministers, after five with ties to Hizbullah and the Amal Party resigned on November 11 and another resigned on November 13. The ministers accused the anti-Syrian coalition of monopolizing the government's decision-making process.

The resigned Shiite ministers now claim that the government is illegitimate as it lacks representation of one of Lebanon's main sects.

The March 14 Forces accuse Hizbullah and its allies of resigning from the Cabinet in an attempt to hamper the tribunal's formation.

Beirut 21-11-2006
Redaction
The Daily Star



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