Germany welcomes draft UN resolution on Syria

26th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

26 October 2005, NEW YORK/BERLIN - Germany welcomed a US-French draft UN resolution threatening sanctions if Syria does not fully cooperate with a UN probe into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

26 October 2005

NEW YORK/BERLIN - Germany welcomed a US-French draft UN resolution threatening sanctions if Syria does not fully cooperate with a UN probe into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

A foreign ministry spokesman told reporters the draft was "balanced". He urged all parties involved to cooperate with the probe, which is led by the German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis.

"The German government urges all countries to fully and completely cooperate with the independent UN commission. It acknowledges that (Syrian) President (Bashar) Assad said he wanted to cooperate with it and we hope that actions will now follow these words," the spokesman said.

The draft resolution, which was submitted late Tuesday to the United Nations Security Council by the United States and France, gives support to findings of the investigative commission headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, who issued a report Friday accusing Lebanese and Syrian security forces of collusion in the bombing of Hariri's vehicle on February 14 in Beirut.

The draft describes a "convergence of evidence of both Lebanese and Syrian official involvement in this terrorist act. It is difficult to envisage a scenario whereby such complex assassination could be carried out without their knowledge."

It calls on the 15-nation Security Council to demand that governments impose travel bans and freeze the assets and resources of those suspected or to be designated suspects in the Hariri slaying. It says the measures should be imposed on "Syrian officials" involved in the plot to kill Hariri.

The draft resolution endorses the investigative commission's conclusion, "based on Syria's suspected involvement in this terrorist act and lack of adequate cooperation to the inquiry to date, that it is incumbent upon the Syrian authorities to clarify a considerable part of the questions which remain unresolved".

The draft says that Syria "must detain those Syrian officials or individuals whom the commission might consider as suspected of having been involved in this terrorist act, and make them fully and unconditionally available to the commission".

The draft resolution was considered by France and the U.S. as a "strong signal" to demand Syrian cooperation in the investigation.

Mehlis met earlier Tuesday with the Security Council to discuss the work of the 30-member investigative commission and its planned activities in coming weeks. The commission's mandate has been extended until December 15.

Copyright DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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