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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Damascus, 23 Nov. (AKI) - Former Syrian government minister Ahmad Abu Daleh and one of the country's more prominent dissidents makes no secret of who he thinks was behind the assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. Wednesday's killing "is a fundamental component of the Syrian regime's hegemonic attitude," Abu Daleh said in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI). Abu Saleh, who currently lives in the Czech Republic, accuses Syrian president Basher al-Assad's government of having a hand in the murder of other anti-Syrian Lebanese political figures.

These include former prime minister Rafik Hariri, (murdered in Feb 2005), journalist Samir Kassir (June 2005), ex-Communist leader George Hawi (June 2005) and Parliamentarian Gebran Tueni (December 2005).

Abu Saleh a Baath Party leader during Syria's shot-live union with Egypt (1958-1961) told AKI he has survived three attempts by Syria's current rulers to kill him.

Other Syrian dissidents have also pointed the finger against the government for Gemayel's murder.

The National Salvation Front's deputy president Abd al-Halim Khaddam and the observer-general of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood Ali Sadr al-Din al-Bayanuni have both blamed the authorities in Damascus for the murder.

The killing is "a link in the chain of murders that aim to detabilise Lebanon and hence prevent the stting up of an international tribunal to try those [included Syrian security officials] suspected of having killed Hariri," Khaddam said.

A foreign-based group representing six dissident political parties the Syrian Democratic Alliance in a statement released in Washington also added its voice to those blaming Damascus.
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