Sarkozy joins Chirac in talks on Lebanon

11th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 11, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and his elected successor Nicolas Sarkozy held talks together on Thursday with Saad Hariri, son of the assassinated Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

PARIS, May 11, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and his elected successor Nicolas Sarkozy held talks together on Thursday with Saad Hariri, son of the assassinated Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

Hariri, head of Lebanon's anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, said the new president would pursue Chirac's policy on Lebanon and press for the creation of an international tribunal to try those suspected of murdering his father.

"President-elect Sarkozy asserted the need to create an international tribunal," Hariri told journalists after the 45-minute meeting.

"He asserted the need to pursue relations between Lebanon and France... as they were in the past under President Chirac," he said.

Syria, which has been implicated in a UN probe over the Hariri assassination despite its repeated denials, is opposed to plans for the court which have been endorsed by the UN Security Council.

Chirac was a close friend of Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in February 2005.

The president and his wife are to move into a Paris apartment belonging to the Hariri family when he leaves the Elysee on Wednesday.

An Elysee spokesman said that Chirac wanted Sarkzoy to take part in the meeting with Hariri because of the importance that France accords to its ties with Lebanon.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulated Sarkozy Monday on his victory in French presidential elections and said he hoped the incoming head of state would oversee an improvement in relations.

France froze all high-level contacts with Syria following Hariri's assassination and has 1,650 troops serving in the UN force in south Lebanon.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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