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Lebanese Prime Minister And Annan Discussions

Lebanese Prime Minister And Annan Discuss Elections, Assassination Probe During Talks

New York, May 6 2005 7:00PM

Lebanon's imminent parliamentary elections and the establishment of an international inquiry into the recent assassination of its former Prime Minister topped the agenda during talks in New York today between United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the country's new Prime Minister, Najib Mikati.

Mr. Annan and Mr. Mikati also discussed the need to implement Security Council resolution 1559, which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, the disarmament of militia, the extension of Government control over all Lebanese territory and the holding of free elections, the Secretary-General's spokesman said in a statement.

The Secretary-General commended Mr. Mikati for helping to ensure that the elections, slated to begin on 29 May, "will be held on schedule and in a free and credible manner" and noted that Mr. Mikati welcomed both UN electoral assistance and the deployment of electoral observers from the European Union.

Mr. Annan thanked Mr. Mikati for his Government's support of the UN technical military team currently in Lebanon to verify the withdrawal of all Syrian forces from its neighbour.

Last month the Security Council ordered the setting up of a UN International Independent Investigation Commission into the killing of Mr. Hariri and 20 other people during a massive explosion in Beirut.

ENDS

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