Senior Lebanese officials on Friday rejected a U.N. report accusing Syria for tensions that led to the assassinatin of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, saying the U.N. mission exceeded its authority in blaming the government of negligence.
The report from a U.N. fact-finding mission was sharply critical of Damascus and its allied Lebanese government. It said there was evidence Syria's president threatened Hariri with physical harm and that the Beirut government showed a lack of commitment to finding out who killed him,.
According to The AP, the report stopped short of blaming Syria in the killing, but did say it was to blame for the political tensions in the country before Hariri's death.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud said the U.N. fact-finding team, whose report was issued Thursday, had gone beyond its mandate. "The (U.N.) mission had no authority to allow it to reach these conclusions," he conveyed. "We see this as infringement on the role of the Lebanese government."
Still, he insisted that the government "welcomes all means" to find the truth about the bombing.