(Combined Sources)–President Robert Kocharian conveyed his condolences to his Lebanese counterpart Emil Lahoud–expressing sorrow for the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister–Rafik Hariri.
Praising Hariri as a leading political figure who made considerable contributions to strengthening Lebanon’s statehood and Armenian-Lebanese relations–Kocharian said Hariri’s death is a difficult challenge not only for Lebanon–but also for the entire region.
In his message to Hariri’s widow Nazik Hariri–Kocharian said–"Rafik Hariri not only made an invaluable contribution to strengthening of peace and stability in Lebanon and in the whole region–but also exerted considerable efforts to strengthen the relations between Armenia and Lebanon. I remember my meetings with Rafik Hariri with special warmth. On behalf of the Armenian people and myself–I express deep condolence to you and all his relatives."
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Central Committee of Lebanon also issued a statement on Monday denouncing the assassination and extending its condolences to the families of Hariri and other victims.
The statement condemns the blast–calling it "an attempt to infringe on the Homeland’s security–peace–civil serenity–and national accord."
"This crime was committed against the Lebanese Homeland and points to the dangerous stage Lebanon has come to," the statement continued.
Urging all to maintain internal unity and underscoring national responsibility in the dangerous and sensitive situation that Lebanon and the region are facing–the statement concludes–"The absence of Rafik Hariri–a symbol of the national accord and prominent political leader–will felt greatly in Lebanon and the Arab world."