New head of UN independent probe into Hariri assassination arrives in Lebanon

“We don’t need any more arms or any instigation in the situation and we will have to take measures to dissuade people who are sending in weapons,” Mr. Annan said in response to questions from the press outside the Security Council.“As to measures or initiatives, there are no specific initiatives but we have made appeals, and it may well be that down the line some specific measures will have to be taken by the Council.”Mr. Annan also confirmed that Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa had assured him that his Government is going to cooperate fully with the new head of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC), Serge Brammertz, who had just arrived in Beirut.Assuming charge of the investigation today in Lebanon, Mr. Brammertz paid tribute to his predecessor and expressed gratitude for the Secretary-General’s confidence.“My priority will remain to assist the Lebanese authorities in their investigation,” Mr. Brammertz said, noting that the Commission would also provide technical assistance in the Lebanese investigations into terrorist attacks perpetrated in Lebanon since 1 October 2004.“I am acutely aware of the expectations on the part of the families of the victims, the people of Lebanon, and the international community, and I will do my utmost to meet these expectations,” he added.Last month, the Security Council extended UNIIIC’s mandate for at least another six months and authorized it to give technical assistance to investigations into those terrorist attacks.The Council took that action by a unanimously adopted resolution which followed on the Commission’s latest report offering new evidence pointing to Syria’s involvement in Mr. Hariri’s murder and Syrian procrastination and efforts to hinder the probe.

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