UNITED NATIONS - A deeply divided U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Wednesday to unilaterally establish an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
More on former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the probe into his assassination which Syria is suspected of being behind.
The vote was 10-0 with five abstentions — Russia, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar. Nine votes were needed for passage.
Current Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora asked the council earlier this month to establish the tribunal. He cited the refusal of opposition-aligned Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to convene a session to ratify the statutes to create the tribunal, which have already been approved by his government and the United Nations.
What is amusing is the those that were against this measure being taken claim it violates Lebanons soveriegnty:
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow supports bringing the perpetrators of Hariri's killing to justice, but he said that "given the deep rift in Lebanese society ... that should not lead to negative consequences."
What the council has done, he said, "essentially is an encroachment upon the sovereignty of Lebanon."
BUT, it was , as shown above, the request OF Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to establish the tribunal, therefore it is no encroachment despite allies of Syria's rhetoric.
But supporters of the resolution strongly disagreed.
"The proposed tribunal is vital for Lebanon, for justice and for the region," British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said.
"This is not a capricious intervention, interference in the domestic political affairs of a sovereign state. It is a considered response by the council, properly taken, to a request from the government of Lebanon," he said.
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said that "by adopting this resolution, the council has demonstrated its commitement to the principle that there should be no impunity for political assasination, in Lebanon or elsewhere."
"We know it was necessary and right for the council to act now," he said. "The tribunal will also serve to deter future political assasinations. Those who may be tempted to commit similar crimes will know there will be consequences for perpetuating political violence and intimidation in Lebanon."
If Syria was not behind the assassination, the tribunal will vindicate them, so one has to wonder why they have done everything in their power and using threats to stop the tribunal from going forward. (Hat Tip to Hot Air for the link)
Wonderful news, even if Russia and China couldn’t quite bring themselves to endorse it. This has been Assad’s greatest fear since Rafiq Hariri, the anti-Syrian former prime minister of Lebanon, was assassinated two years ago: all signs point to the Syrian government’s involvement and he knows it and soon the rest of the world will know it too. That’s why people ended up dying every time the UN inched a little closer to approving the tribunal — it was Assad’s version of a shot across the bow, a warning of what could and would happen in Lebanon if the UN went ahead with the investigation. His puppet was already making threats in advance of the vote:
Read the rest at Hot Air.
It has taken much too long because the UN moves slowly, but perhaps, finally Syria will be held accountable for their actions or be vindicated.
Either way, this is good news for Lebanon.