THE United Nations has demonstrated uncharacteristic alacrity in deciding to probe the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri. But that's no reason for the Lebanese government to question the motives of the world body in investigating the killing.

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Published: Mon 21 Feb 2005, 9:04 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:43 PM

While ideally Beirut should have been taken into confidence before the UN chief Kofi Annan unveiled the mission to Lebanon, now that it has been announced the Lebanese government would do well to cooperate with the UN team. For eventually what is important is establishing the identity of the forces that targeted Hariri.

The Hariri assassination has not only shaken the people of Lebanon, it has sent shock waves across the greater Middle East. Evidently, the assassination had been part of a major conspiracy aimed at pushing Lebanon back into the bloody chaos that ravaged it during the 70s and 80s. The Lebanese people and the international community have a right to know the identity of the forces that are out to plunge Lebanon back into the civil war. More importantly, as Jordan's King Abdullah has argued, the killing targeted stability of the entire region. The UN has been preoccupied with Lebanon for quite some time thanks to the pressure from the US and France. Last year, the UN Security Council, in its resolution 1559, had asked Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. Hariri's killing came at a time when the West led by US and France had been heavily leaning on Syria to get out of Lebanon. And it is no secret that Hariri had quit as the PM and was leading a movement against Syrian involvement in his country. Understandably, the UN is upset and is keen to know the truth behind Hariri's killing.

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