DAMASCUS, Dec. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Syria on Tuesday
rejected the United Nations chief investigator's charge that Damascus'
cooperation with the probe into the killing of Lebanese ex-premier Rafik Hariri
"We think that remarks in the UN report that said Syria was slow-paced in fully cooperating with the probe of
the international investigation committee are inaccurate," said a statement by
the Syrian Foreign Ministry to the UN Security Council, a copy of which was
obtained by Xinhua in Damascus.
The reject was forcefully voiced by Syrian UN
ambassador Fayssal Mekdad at a meeting of the UN Security Council designated to
examining the new investigation report.
German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, who heads the UN
investigation commission on the probe into Hariri's killing, submitted his
second report to the Security Council on Monday which found "new evidence" that
further implicated Syria in Hariri's death.
The report also charged Syria of hampering the
investigation with "reluctance and delay."
In addition, the statement re-asserted that Syria is
willing to cooperate with the UN investigation team in the future probe and that
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara was ready to meet Mehlis in the Syrian
capital Damascus or during one of his visits to Europe.
But the statement did not reveal the aim or the
content of Shara's possible meeting with the top investigator.
The statement also complained that UN investigators
failed to keep their guarantee promises made to Damascus on questioning five
Syrian officials in Vienna.
The British lawyers for the five officials had also
complained to the UN investigation team that the testimonies that their clients
had to sign after being questioned were written in a language they did not know,
according to the statement.
An interim report submitted to the UN Security
Council in October by Mehlis implicated Syrian and Lebanese security officials
in Hariri's assassination and criticized Syria for limited cooperation with the
Damascus dismissed the charges as far from truth.
The UN Security Council on Oct. 31 unanimously
adopted Resolution 1636, demanding full Syrian cooperation with the UN probe or
face unspecified "further action," which could lead to economic sanction.
The UN investigators questioned five Syrian officials
at the UN offices in Vienna last week after weeks of impasse with Damascus over
Lebanon has asked for a six-month extension to the
probe's mandate which expires on Dec. 15. But Mehlis said he would leave his
post this month. Enditem