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      Lebanese PM Says He Will Support UN Tribunal

      Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he will support the UN special tribunal that is investigating the killing of former PM Rafik Hariri.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 7/20/2011, 6:13 AM / Last Update: 7/20/2011, 7:59 AM

      In what is seen as an act of courage, Lebanon’s Prime Minister said Monday his government will support the UN special tribunal that is investigating the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

      During an interview with CNN, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, “Whatever we can do from our side, we are going to do it fully.”

      The tribunal was established by the UN at Lebanon’s request in 2005, after Hariri was killed when explosives were detonated as his motorcade drove through a Beirut street. The tribunal has indicted four members of the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group, but Hizbullah leader Hasan Nasrallah has vowed to never hand them over.

      Last week, the Interpol issued formal warrants for the four on behalf of the tribunal.

      Mikati told CNN that the Lebanese government would hand over the suspects “if they are in Lebanon.” This is considered a bold move, as his government is essentially a Hizbullah government.

      Mikati, however, has rejected suggestions that Hizbullah is pulling the strings of his government and also rejected in the CNN interview the suggestions that his Hizbullah allies would prevent him from cooperating with the tribunal.

      He emphasized that his overriding goal is to serve the interests of his country and added, “And I’m going to do it fully.”

      Mikati also addressed the current crisis in Lebanon’s neighbor Syria, and called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to introduce the necessary reforms.

      “I wish that President Assad can do the reform himself,” Mikati said. “I wish peace and good for the Syrian citizens and the Syrian regime.”