Minister Cannon Marks Fourth Anniversary of Assassination of Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri

(No. 41 - February 13,  2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement marking the fourth anniversary of the February 14, 2005, assassination of Rafik Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon.

"Rafik Hariri was a popular and highly respected leader in his country and in the international community. Known for his courage and effectiveness, he wanted a free and independent Lebanon for all the country's citizens. His violent death cast a shadow not only on Lebanon, but on the region and throughout the world.

"This year's anniversary is especially significant because the work of the UN's International Independent Investigation Commission will soon continue under the auspices of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Canada is proud that our country's former assistant deputy attorney general, Daniel Bellemare, has led the Commission since 2007. We are pleased that he will continue his task as prosecutor for the Special Tribunal. We applaud the Commission's work so far toward bringing the perpetrators of the assassination to justice.

"Canada strongly supports the Lebanese government's efforts to strengthen democracy, justice and security in Lebanon. Canada is aware of the challenges facing the Lebanese people, including the parliamentary elections next June. We will continue to support Lebanon to help ensure the country's stability."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874