UN deplores latest deadly car bombing in Lebanon

11 September 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned last night’s car bombing in Lebanon that claimed the life of a senior politician and wounded six others, saying it highlights the need for political reconciliation in the Middle East country. “This violence only underscores how important it is for dialogue and reconciliation to move forward,” Mr. Ban told a press conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York today.“This is a very frustrating situation, that we see many such bombings and killings,” he added, urging restraint from all sides.Media reports say Saleh Aridi, who represented the Lebanese Democratic Party, was killed in an explosion shortly after he got into his car in his home village, southeast of the capital, Beirut.The apparent assassination occurred a day after Lebanese President Michel Suleiman announced that reconciliation talks between the country’s political parties would take place next week.“I am encouraged by President Suleiman’s efforts toward establishing an inclusive national dialogue, also including diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Syria,” Mr. Ban, whose spokesperson also issued a statement deploring the bombing, said today.Security Council members also deplored last night’s bombing, issuing a press statement in which they voiced deep sympathies to the Government and to the families of the victims.The 15-member body “underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this reprehensible act of terrorism to justice,” according to the statement, read out by Ambassador Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso, the current Council President.Stressing the importance of Lebanese unity, Council members also reiterated their full support for national efforts “to combat terrorism, solidify democratic institutions, engage in political dialogue and pursue national reconciliation.”Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro is currently in Lebanon to attend a meeting organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that is aimed at finding ways to better coordinate the work of UN agencies operating in the region.Ms. Migiro is also slated to visit senior Lebanese officials during her visit, including Mr. Suleiman, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri.

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