Vienna, 14 February 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "The international community stands united behind Lebanon"


Foreign Minister on second anniversary of Rafik Hariri's assassination

Vienna, 14 February 2007 - "Yesterday's bloody assaults on two commuter buses have painfully reminded us that the process of social and political reconstruction in Lebanon still requires massive further efforts. These cowardly attacks must be sharply condemned. The anniversary of the deadly assault against Rafik Hariri in particular is reason and mandate for us to energetically counteract violence in Lebanon and do everything possible to prevent the situation from escalating," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik today, on the second anniversary of the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister.

"It is only through dialogue and respect for the country's democratically legitimised institutions that it will be possible to find a long-term solution to the current difficult political situation. All influential political forces in Lebanon, all neighbouring states and the other states of the region are called upon to support the country's peaceful democratic development in the interests of the people of Lebanon," emphasised the Foreign Minister.

Plassnik reminded that the EU foreign ministers had reiterated their unlimited support for a sovereign and united Lebanon on Monday. "The international community stands fully united behind Lebanon. We shall continue to provide reliable support to the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in its efforts for stability and reconstruction," emphasised the Foreign Minister. In this connection Plassnik pointed out that at the recent international conference on Lebanon held in Paris Austria had pledged aid in the amount of 1 million euros as concrete support for the reform process.

"The return to stability and security in Lebanon is an important building block in the solution to the Middle East conflicts. A full investigation into the reasons behind Prime Minister Hariri's assassination and the consistent implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions are indispensable preconditions for the peaceful future of the country," concluded Plassnik.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549. 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213