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Statement Following Meeting With Minister of Justice Charles Rizk

Kristen Silverberg, Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs
Beirut, Lebanon
May 16, 2006

I have just had a very useful meeting with Minister of Justice Charles Rizk and with judges Choukri Sadr and Ralph Riachy. I appreciate very much Minister Rizk's insights and appreciate the time he and his colleagues gave to meet with me today. My meeting at the Ministry of Justice today aimed to affirm U.S. support for the efforts of the Government of Lebanon in promoting respect for the rule of law in Lebanon. This is an essential step towards establishing a strong, united and democratic Lebanon. To that end, the United States applauds the consensus that has developed as a result of Lebanon's National Dialogue on the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission and on the establishment of a special tribunal of international character.

The United States pledges to support Lebanon -- in  partnership with the international community -- in identifying and bringing to justice those responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The long, sad list of unsolved political assassinations in Lebanon must have an end. The UNIIIC is an important step in bringing into the light, those who have for too many years operated in the dark shadows of Lebanon's political life.

The United States offers its full support to the Government of Lebanon as its works to instill professionalism and pride, accountability and transparency in the employees of all its ministries and government bodies. The United States shares the Lebanese people's vision of a secure, united and democratic Lebanon, with justice and dignity for all.



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