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Cablegate: Guidance for Uniiic Consultations, April 8

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #6051 0982324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 072319Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1241
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 8145
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 4912
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 1685

UNCLAS STATE 036051

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC LE SY PREL PTER
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR UNIIIC CONSULTATIONS, APRIL 8

1. (U) This is an action message. USUN may draw from the
points from para 2 below during consultations on the UN
International Independent Investigation Commission (Hariri
assassination) scheduled for April 8.

2. (U) Begin Points

-- I would like to thank Commissioner Bellemare for his
briefing and his first report to the Council since he took
office in January. We welcome the leadership he has shown so
far in helping Lebanon find the truth behind these attacks
and bringing an end to impunity for political assassinations.

-- In any discussion of Lebanon, it is impossible to ignore
the continuing political crisis. We are deeply troubled
that, although the Lebanese seem to have reached consensus on
a presidential candidate, a minority, backed by Syria and
Iran, are using extra-constitutional preconditions to block
the elections. This must stop.

-- We call yet again on Syria to cease its interference in
Lebanon and for the democratically-elected members of
Lebanon,s parliament to be allowed to elect a President in
accordance with their constitution and without further delay
or preconditions.

-- Today, I would like to make three specific points about
the work of the Commission.

-- First, we acknowledge Mr. Bellemare,s cautionary advice
that terrorist investigations cannot be rushed, and concur
with his judgment on the importance of the Commission's
technical assistance to the Lebanese investigations into the
cases of twenty other assassination attacks. We also value
the robust authorities the Commission possesses to seek the
truth in the Hariri case and others. We look forward to
hearing from the Lebanese Government on their views about
whether the mandate of the UNIIIC should be extended beyond
its current June 15 expiration and then discussing the issue
further with Council members.

-- Second, as Mr. Bellemare proceeds with his investigation,
we urge the UN Secretariat to accelerate steps to ensure that
the Special Tribunal for Lebanon begins functioning as soon
as possible. The lives of Lebanese members of parliament and
other political leaders are literally on the line. Since the
investigation began nearly three years ago, there have been
at least 11 assassinations or attempted assassinations of
Lebanese leaders. This includes four Lebanese MPs who have
been killed. Their colleagues -- many of whom have been
forced to seek refuge by moving into a hotel in Beirut -- now
live each day in fear. The loss of life resulting from these
terrorist attacks has been enormous. As Mr. Bellemare
indicated in his report, of the cases he is investigating, a
total of 61 people have been killed and at least 494 injured.
Action against the perpetrators of these vicious terrorist
attacks is the best deterrent we have to prevent further
assassinations.

-- Third, we urge all countries to support the integrity of
the Tribunal and contribute to it financially. The Tribunal
must pursue justice wherever its investigation leads. In
this regard, we would oppose any effort that might prejudice
the Tribunal by devising political arrangements meant to
protect certain parties from prosecution. In terms of
financial support, the United States has contributed $14
million towards the set up and first year of the Tribunal's
operations, and expects to remain a significant contributor
for its duration. We urge countries that have not
contributed to do so, those that have made pledges to follow
through quickly on providing those resources, and those that
have already contributed to advise the Secretary General of
their intent to continue their support until the Tribunal
completes its work.

-- In conclusion, we support the efforts of the Commission
and the Special Tribunal to ensure justice for these crimes
and to help bring an end to impunity in Lebanon. We hope
that we can all work quickly and resolutely enough to deter
the next attack from taking place.

End Points.
RICE

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