Source Pravda.Ru

Jordan asks Syria to help U.N. investigation of Lebanese PM killing

Jordan called on Syria Monday to cooperate with the United Nations in an investigation into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher made the call ahead of a U.N. Security Council vote on a tough resolution that demands Damascus to cooperate in investigation of Hariri's Feb. 14 assassination.

Jordan "believes in the importance of the cooperation of all countries ... until the truth (over Hariri's killing) is revealed," Muasher said.

Chief U.N. investigator Detlev Mehlis released his report in late October, implicating top Syrian and Lebanese security officials in the Beirut bombing that killed Hariri and 20 others. Mehlis also accused Syria of refusing to cooperate with his probe.

Muasher said Jordan "hopes that the repercussions of the Mehlis report wouldn't culminate in a confrontation which will neither serve the region nor its stability."

He expressed the hope that "the international community will be able to resolve all outstanding issues with brotherly Syria through dialogue."

The United States, France and Britain are promoting a Security Council resolution that threatens tough sanctions against Syria if it fails to cooperate with the U.N. investigation.

The resolution also requires Syria to detain any official or civilian that U.N. investigators consider a suspect in Hariri's killing and allow that person to be questioned, either outside Syria or without Syrian officials present.

The United States has said that would include Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has not accepted U.N. requests to be interviewed in the investigation.

Syria has criticized the U.N. report, but expressed willingness to cooperate in the investigation, the AP reports.

On Saturday, Assad issued a decree establishing a judicial committee that will investigate the assassination and also ordered it to cooperate with the U.N. and Lebanese judicial authorities.

T.E.

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