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Bush condemns Lebanese cabinet minister's assassination

Written by: Staff
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Washington, Nov 22 (UNI) President George W Bush has condemned the assassination of Lebanese cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel, accusing Iran and Syria of promoting instability in Lebanon.

He, however, did not directly accuse these countries of involvement in Gemayel's murder.

Speaking in Hawaii on his way home from a trip to Asia yesterday, President Bush said those responsible for the murder of Lebanese Industry Minister and Christian leader Pierre Gemayel displayed the ''vicious face of those who oppose freedom.'' ''For the sake of peace, the free world must reject those who undermine young democracies and murder in the name of their hateful ideology,'' Bush said.

The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns, speaking to reporters at the State Department, said the assassination was an effort to intimidate the democratic government in Beirut.

He said the US viewed it as an act of terrorism.

Gemayel is from a family of prominent Lebanese politicians. His uncle Bashir Gemayel was assassinated in 1982 shortly after being elected president of the country.

UNI XC DKS PM0721

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