Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has admitted that his bloc had unfairly rushed to accuse Syria of assassinating his father and that false witnesses had misled the investigation into the 2005 assassination. In his first remarks to the press following the third meeting between him and Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hariri told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in remarks published Monday that he feels he is going to a friendly country when he travels to Damascus.
He described ties between the two countries as "historic". "One has to assess (events) in previous years so that past mistakes are not repeated," Hariri said.
"We assessed mistakes that we made and that harmed the Syrian people and ties between the two countries," the Lebanese leader told the newspaper. "At a certain stage we made mistakes and accused Syria of assassinating the martyred premier. This was a political accusation."
About false witnesses, Hariri said: "Some people have misled the probe and harmed Syria and Lebanon ... They have harmed ties between the two countries and politicized the assassination."