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Syria Will Not Cooperate With UN Hariri Tribunal


Syria says it will refuse to cooperate with a new U.N.-backed tribunal for suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Moallem told a news conference Friday in Damascus said the U.N. vote to establish the tribunal was hasty. He also said the panel's work would violate Lebanese sovereignty and could infringe on Syrian sovereignty.

The U.N. Security Council voted Wednesday to create the new tribunal at the request of Lebanon's U.S.-backed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. The tribunal is opposed by Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is aligned with the pro-Syrian opposition.

The U.N. gave the Lebanese Parliament until June 10 to reach agreement on ratifying the tribunal or the U.N. will impose one.

A U.N. investigation has implicated Syrian officials in the assassination of Mr. Hariri - an anti-Syrian politician, but Syria has denied any involvement.

Syrian's foreign minister said creation of the new tribunal does not have international or even Lebanese consensus.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.