- - Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Government ducks U.N. tribunal talks

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Hezbollah-dominated Cabinet failed Tuesday to adopt a position on a U.N. tribunal probing the murder of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, which is expected to indict members of the militant group.

A committee tasked with drafting the government position held its sixth meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office said in a statement.

But the committee did not discuss how the Cabinet would tackle the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, rumored to be readying to issue indictments naming members of the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah in the 2005 Hariri assassination.

“Prime Minister Mikati has not yet launched talks on the clause in the government policy which deals with the tribunal,” a source close to Mr. Mikati told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“We are still in contact with all parties in an attempt to find a solution that is acceptable to all those concerned.”


Palestinian leader skeptical of United Nations bid

RAMALLAH — The Palestinians’ bid to seek U.N. recognition of a state will just be a symbolic victory and will not change the reality of Israeli occupation, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday.

Mr. Fayyad’s skepticism, voiced in an interview with the Associated Press, set him apart from the rest of the Palestinian leadership.

Earlier this week, President Mahmoud Abbas and top Palestinian officials in his Fatah movement formally adopted the U.N. plan.

Passage of a nonbinding resolution in the U.N. General Assembly would not immediately change the situation on the ground.

But the Palestinians hope it will rally international pressure on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians.


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