UN, US condemn assassination of former Lebanese minister

Security Council "unequivocally" condemns assassination of Mohammed Chatah; Kerry: This is a loss for the cause of regional peace.

Beirut assassination of former Lebanese minister Chatah (photo credit: REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)
Beirut assassination of former Lebanese minister Chatah
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)
NEW YORK - The United Nations Security Council "unequivocally" condemned the assassination of former Lebanese minister Mohammed Chatah on Friday, calling the attack a "heinous" act against the people of Lebanon.
Chatah was a close advisor to former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri, an avowed enemy of Lebanese Hezbollah. He blamed the military organization for Friday's attack.
"The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and all obligations under international law," the Council said in a statement, "in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts." "The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators to justice," the statement read.
Chatah, who opposed Syrian President Bashar Assad, and four other people were killed in a massive bomb blast that targeted his car in Beirut on Friday, security sources told Reuters.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Chatah's death is "a tremendous loss for Lebanon and a reminder of the need to end impunity."
"The Secretary-General is deeply troubled by the recurring acts of terrorism in Lebanon which pose a severe threat to the country’s stability and national cohesion," his spokesman said.
Also in a statement, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly said he is "shocked and deeply saddened by the car bombing," referring to Chatah as a "good friend" whose death marks the beginning of a "difficult time" for Lebanon.
US Secretary of State John Kerry also issued a condemnation of the attack Friday, saying Chatah's assassination was a loss for the people of Lebanon, the cause of peace in the region, and the government of the United States.
"His tragic end reminds all of us just why his vision remains so imperative," Kerry said, calling the attack "heinous and cowardly."
Kerry personally worked with the former minister during his tenure in the US Senate.
"These acts only reinforce the strength and resolve of our commitment to support legitimate, unifying security forces in Lebanon, such as the Lebanese Armed Forces," he added.