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NALA PRESS RELEASE ON AAI WHITE HOUSE MEETING

 

 NALA PRESS RELEASE 12/15/2010
Recent reports[1] regarding the White House summoning Lebanese American groups to the White House for a briefing on US policy with regard to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the leading role taken by the Arab American Institute (AAI)[2] in that White House initiative are incorrect. The National Alliance of Lebanese Americans[3], which has extensive contacts throughout the Administration, is informed that the AAI is conducting a gathering on Lebanon at a local Washington hotel and has invited certain members of the White House as well as others to come and participate in their event. Therefore, rather than a briefing conducted by the Administration at the White House, as has been reported, the event is an AAI sponsored event to which, as many of the Lebanese American organizations routinely do, officers of the Administration are invited to attend.
 
The policy of the Obama Administration with regard to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has been constant and true. The Special Tribunal's goal is to try those charged with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others on February 14, 2005, as well as: Samir Qassir on June 2, 2005; George Hawi, June 21, 2005; Gibran Tueni, December 12, 2005; Pierre Gemayel, November 21, 2006; Walid Eido, along with his son, two body guards and six others on June 13, 2007; Antoine Ghanem on September 19, 2007 and Captain Wissam Eid on January 25, 2008.  It is the policy of the United States to support the STL, its investigation and its judicial process. The United States has been a donor state and has also provided whatever assistance requested by the chief investigator. This policy is guided by the time worn truth that stability and justice are not conflicting objectives, but rather, stability can only come through the application of justice.
 
NALA fully supports the US Administration position on the STL and looks forward to seeing justice being served in support of Lebanon and her people.
 
As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said in a visit to Manama Bahrain:
“The special tribunal established by the United Nations represents a statement by the world that the era of political assassination with impunity in Lebanon or anywhere must end. To those who claim that the tribunal will destabilize Lebanon, I would answer justice is not a threat to Lebanon’s stability. The attempt to subvert justice by undermining the tribunal [is] the threat. The US joins the international community in supporting a sovereign independent and stable Lebanon.”[4]
 

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