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Lebanon govt ducks UN tribunal talks

A UN tribunal is probing the murder of Lebanon`s ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

Beirut: Lebanon`s Hezbollah-dominated cabinet failed on Tuesday to adopt a position on a UN tribunal probing the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri which is expected to indict members of militant group.

A committee tasked with drafting the government programme held its sixth meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Najib Mikati`s office said in a statement.

But the committee did not discuss how the cabinet would tackle the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), rumoured to be readying to issue indictments naming members of the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah in the 2005 Hariri assassination.

"Prime Minister Mikati has not yet launched talks on the clause in the government policy which deals with the tribunal," a source close to Mikati said on condition of anonymity.

"We are still in contact with all parties in an attempt to find a solution that is acceptable to all those concerned."

Two regional Arabic-language dailies have reported the STL would issue its indictments, which are expected to remain confidential, within days. The tribunal has refused to comment on the reports.

Lebanon for months has been bracing for the Netherlands-based STL to issue its indictments in the Beirut bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others, with Hezbollah repeatedly warning it would defend itself against any accusations.


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