(No. 66 - February 12, 2010 - 4:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement marking the anniversary of the February 14, 2005, assassination of Rafik Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon:
"Rafik Hariri was a courageous and highly respected statesman committed to a pluralistic and modern Lebanon. We share the Lebanese people's grief over the loss of their leader who was tragically murdered five years ago along with 22 others. We extend our sincere sympathies to his son, Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri and the rest of Rafik Hariri's family, and to the families of all the victims.
"The Special Tribunal for Lebanon was launched on March 1, 2009. This was an important sign of the international community's determination to bring to justice those responsible for financing, planning, and carrying out this tragic crime.
"Canada is confident that the Special Tribunal will succeed. We also recognize that the decisions on whether and when to request indictments remain matters of prosecutorial discretion. We fully support the work and independence of the Tribunal.
"Canada also supports the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, and encourages the country's leaders to continue seeking the peaceful resolution of political differences. Canada continues to call for the full implementation of UN resolutions aimed at strengthening Lebanon's democratic development and guaranteeing its security and sovereignty."
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