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Annan Congratulates Lebanon on Elections

Annan Congratulates Lebanon on Elections, Ready to Extend Further Support

New York, Jun 20 2005 2:00PM

The United Nations, which has recently undertaken several missions to Lebanon, stands ready to extend support and assistance to the new government, as and if required, following yesterday's conclusion of parliamentary elections, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

"The holding of these elections on time and in a credible manner has been a key element in a transition in which the Lebanese people have been expressing their determination to shape their own future, strengthen political institutions and restore their full sovereignty," Mr. Annan declared in a statement issued by his spokesman.

He congratulated the people and Government of Lebanon for their successful holding of the polls, noting that preliminary reports, including that of the UN electoral assistance team in Lebanon, indicate that the elections were technically well conducted and credible, and apparently carried out in a free and non-violent environment.

An independent UN commission is currently in Lebanon investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which roiled tensions in the region and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops after a series of shuttle missions by Mr. Annan's Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen.

ENDS

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