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ALF views Hariri's murder as an attempt to assassinate Lebanon

Lebanonwire.com 2/14/2005

The American Lebanese Foundation (ALF) deplores and condemns in the strongest terms today's bomb blast in Beirut. Considering the target, the timing and the location, ALF sees this despicable act not just as a murder of Prime Minister Hariri but an attempt to assassinate Lebanon, which was in the final stages of being reborn as a peaceful, prosperous and vibrant democracy. We agree with all those who labeled this act as terrorism and feel it is terror par excellence and of the most dangerous kind. We therefore call on Lebanese and Syrian authorities to do whatever they can to determine the perpetrators as fast as possible and treat it as the emergency it is.

At the same time we call on the Lebanese people to stay united and avoid reaching conclusions without evidence. It is the responsibility of the Lebanese people and the ex-patriate community not to allow an attempt at assassinating Lebanon to succeed. In our opinion the best preventive measure is UNITY.

ALF also calls for expediting the investigation of the assassination attempt of previous Minister Marwan Hamadeh. The delay at reaching a conclusion in that case may have encouraged today's bomb. The Hariri murderers may be the same ones or sources having opposing interests, who assume that their enemies will be blamed. ALF notes that some media outlets are already hinting at possible perpetrators. This may add to existing dangers. We therefore call on US and UN Authorities to use their moral authority and whatever proper mechanism they may have on the side of helping the responsible authorities in Lebanon to reach a credible conclusion urgently.

In the meantime, ALF offers its condolences and deepest sympathy to the family of Prime Minister Hariri , the other victims and the people of Lebanon. We feel that the only way that the blood of Prime Minster Hariri and all the other previous martyrs would not go in vain, is for the Lebanese people and expatriates to stay calm, rational and united in their path towards real democracy and full sovereignty.

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