Washington, Sep 20: US President George W Bush condemned the assassination of an anti-Syrian Lebanese lawmaker and said the United States stood in solidarity with the Lebanese people against what he called an attempt by Syria and Iran to destabilize Lebanon. The lawmaker, Antoine Ghanem of the Christian Phalange party, was killed by a car bomb in a Christian district of Beirut. At least 19 other people were wounded. This cowardly attack comes days before the Lebanese Parliament is scheduled to convene to elect a new president.
The United States opposes any attempts to intimidate the Lebanese people as they seek to exercise their democratic right to select a president without foreign interference,'' Bush said yesterday in a written statement.
''We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Lebanese people, as they resist attempts by the Syrian and Iranian regimes and their allies to destabilize Lebanon and undermine its sovereignty.''
Bush said there has been a ''tragic pattern'' of political killings and attempted assassinations designed to silence those Lebanese trying to ''defend their vision of an independent and democratic government.''