The decision by the United Nations Security Council to establish a Special Tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri and others under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter has dramatically raised tensions in Lebanon. Security Council Resolution 1757 was adopted on May 30, after Lebanese parliament Speaker Nabih Berri failed to convene the parliament to vote on the tribunal issue. Both Syria and the pro-Syrian opposition opposed the setting up of the tribunal under Chapter VII, claiming it constituted interference in Lebanese internal affairs, and warned that pushing ahead with the decision would bring ‘chaos’ to Lebanon. This fear was echoed by the five members of the Security Council who abstained from the vote, including Russia, China and Qatar.

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