The Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, meeting in Beiteddine, Lebanon, on 4 April 2005, with the leadership of its member party in the country, the Progressive Socialist Party, PSP, and with representatives of parties and organisations of the democratic opposition, expresses:
1. its strong condemnation of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, whose commitment to his country, dedication and leadership in the process of national reconstruction was vital and a source of inspiration and respect for the Lebanese people as well as the international community. The Committee equally expresses its condemnation of the murder of the civilians who died alongside him, and of all acts of violence. We stand firm with the Lebanese people in their call for the establishment of the truth in respect of these crimes and support all the initiatives by the international community to this end;
2. its full solidarity with the Lebanese people, with all the democratic forces in Lebanon, and with its member party, the PSP, at this crucial time when the democrats of this country underline their concerted will to reaffirm the democracy, sovereignty, independence and constitutional integrity of their country for the holding of free, fair and transparent elections in the forthcoming month of May;
3. that the Socialist International is committed to continuing to pay close attention to the situation affecting Lebanon, particularly in regard to the implementation of the withdrawal of Syrian forces in accordance with the Taef Agreements and international legality and the carrying out of the forthcoming elections which it will follow closely with an observer delegation on the ground, as it has done for numerous elections in this and other regions of the world;
4. its confidence in the internal dialogue between the Lebanese political forces leading to a strengthening of the role of the political parties and to a situation of normality in the political life of the country, leaving behind all use of violence.
A new historical opportunity exists today for Lebanon, and for the region as a whole, to build new political relations and policies to ensure peace, democracy and prosperity for all the peoples of the region.