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Saturday, February 10, 2007 Ex-Lebanon president urges assembly approval of Hariri tribunal

Former Lebanese president Amin Gemayel has urged the Lebanese National Assembly to ratify a UN-approved agreement that would create an international tribunal [ to try suspects accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri . The controversial agreement, supported by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora but opposed by pro-Syrian Lebanese President Emile Lahoud [official profile], has been a source of major disagreement in Lebanon’s deeply sectarian political arena. The pro-Syrian speaker of the National Assembly, Nabih Berri , opposes the Hariri tribunal and has refused to convene the assembly to prevent ratification.
In November, the Lebanese cabinet approved a draft plan despite the resignation of all six pro-Syrian members from the militant Hezbollah and Amal movement . In the same month, the UN Security Council approved a request from Siniora for the UN International Independent Investigation Commission [Security Council Resolution 1595 text; materials] to also investigate the murder of Gemayel’s son, Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. Pierre Gemayel was a vocal critic of Syrian intervention in Lebanese affairs.