Syria rejects UN investigation committee meet President al-Assad
Syria-Lebanon-UN, Politics, 1/3/2006
A high ranking Syrian official said that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad will not respond to the request made by the chairman of the UN investigation committee into the murder of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, to meet with him.
Ahmad al-Haj Ali, the official in the Baath party and advisor for the Syrian ministry of information, said that "there will not be a possibility for accepting this request which shows a prior intention and a quick response to media articles with inclinations of support of the anti-Syria forces."
In this regard, member of the Syrian People's Assembly (parliament) Faisal Kolthoum stressed his country's "categorical rejection of the UN committee meeting with President al-Assad because this contradicts with the Presidential immunity which is the symbol of independence and national dignity and also in contradiction to the constitution."
Meantime, the chairman of foreign affairs committee at the Syrian parliament Numeir Ghanem expressed Syria's total readiness to cooperate with the UN investigation committee, but under the condition that this cooperation will not undermine Syria's sovereignty, as he said.
In statements to al-Jazeera satellite TV, Ghanem stressed that Syria will study the requests of the UN committee from the legal aspect, and according to that, will decide the nature of the response, stressing that Syria has so far not received any requests from the committee to meet with President Bashar al-Assad or other Syrian officials.
The UN committee announced on Monday that it asked Damascus to meet with al-Assad and foreign minister Farouq al-Sharaa in addition to other Syrian officials. The former chairman of the UN committee Detleve Mehlis proposed earlier to meet with President al-Assad but his request was rejected, while al-Sharaa agreed to that.
US calls Syria to collaborate with UN investigation
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Al-Arabia: Lebanese accusation to Khaddam of mistakes
Al-Arabia: Syrian Vice President denounces government: al-Assad threatened Hariri before his assassination
Washington Post: UN asks Belgian to head investigation of Hariri assassination
Sharaa underlines Syria's cooperation with new UN investigator to Hariri murder
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