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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 November 2005, 04:59 GMT
Lahoud meets Hariri murder team
Lebanese President Emile Lahoud
Mr Lahoud denies any wrongdoing
A UN team investigating the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has had a meeting with President Emile Lahoud, his office says.

Mr Lahoud gave a statement at the presidential palace, his office said.

Four officers, including a close aide of the pro-Syrian leader, have been charged in connection with the killing.

In the US, President Bush warned Syria to co-operate fully with the inquiry and to "stop trying to intimidate and destabilise the Lebanese government".

For decades Syria had a decisive voice in Lebanese affairs, but Mr Hariri's assassination led to the withdrawal of its troops.

A UN interim report on the killing has implicated officials from Syria and Lebanon - both countries deny the allegations.

Phone calls

Last month's report has said that Mr Lahoud is not a suspect.

But the inquiry said a suspect had called him shortly before the blast.

"The president informed [the investigators] of the accurate information pertaining to what has been reported about phone calls to the presidential palace before and after the crime," the presidential office said in a statement.

Officials close to the UN inquiry said the two investigators asked the president about communications and the chain of command in his office, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The meeting lasted more than an hour, the officials told AP.

Mr Lahoud, whose term officially ended in October last year, had his mandate extended by the Lebanese parliament under pressure from Damascus.




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