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Countries React to al-Hariri Assassination Verdict

Countries React to al-Hariri Assassination Verdict

Diplomats and administrations the world over reacted on Tuesday to the Hague-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s conviction of a Hizbullah operative in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. While the court acquitted three other defendants and ruled that neither Syria’s nor Hizbullah’s leadership were directly involved in the killing, leaders of several countries called for the Iranian-backed organization, designated by Israel, the US and the European Union as a terror group, to be punished and sanctioned for the murder. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States welcomed the court’s ruling and called for ending Hizbullah’s “impunity” as a means to “ensuring Lebanon’s security, stability, and sovereignty.” Saudi Arabia called for “Hizbullah and its terror elements” to be brought to justice, while Israel’s Foreign Ministry claimed the group had “taken hostage the future of the Lebanese people.” In February 2005, al-Hariri, who at the time led the anti-Syrian opposition in Lebanon, was killed along with 21 others after his motorcade was blasted with explosives in Beirut.

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