New UN Hariri probe head makes first Syria visit

The new head of the UN inquiry into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri made his first visit to Syria on Thursday where he met with Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Syria's official news agency said. Serge Brammertz's visit lasted a few hours, his spokeswoman Nasra Hassan said, but she gave no details on what he discussed. One of the issues that Brammertz is likely to have raised is the commission's request to interview Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is alleged to have threatened Hariri in a private meeting several months before the Feb. 14, 2005, assassination. Assad, who has denied threatening Hariri, has so far indicated he is not prepared to be interviewed.