Socialist International condemns assassination of Lebanese government minister

22 November 2006

The Socialist International is shocked and deeply dismayed at the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, the Lebanese Minister of Industry and one of the leaders of the 14 March movement. The International strongly condemns this latest act of violence in Lebanon and reaffirms its unwavering solidarity with the Lebanese people and their democratically elected government.

Coming at a particularly crucial time for Lebanon, and as the Lebanese cabinet had just approved the establishment of an international tribunal, supported by the United Nations Security Council, to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and twenty-two others in a car bombing in Beirut in February 2005, the political assassination of Gemayel clearly seeks to undermine the country's stability and fragile democracy.

The International appeals for national unity in Lebanon and reiterates its firm support for the democratic forces of that country, including its member party, the Progressive Socialist Party, PSP, led by Walid Jumblatt, in their efforts to strengthen democracy, rejecting all forms of outside interference in the internal affairs of the country, and to continue the vital reconstruction process. This cycle of violence, intended to destroy democracy and to break the resolve of the Lebanese people in moving forward their agenda for an independent, democratic and united Lebanon, must not be allowed to succeed and no effort must be spared in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The Socialist International extends its heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the Gemayel family.