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U.S. President Barack Obama called Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri  on Friday and reiterated his support  for the special  tribunal for Lebanon, according to a White House statement.

“The President said the American people admire and appreciate the Prime Minister’s commitment to carrying on his father’s work. The President and Prime Minister agreed on the importance of supporting the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to bring those responsible for this terrible crime to justice,” the statement said.

Emphasizing on the US’ continued support for Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence, Obama said he looks forward to working with Premier Hariri to advance peace and opportunity in the region.

Obama gave the assurance in a telephone call, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, adding the president also emphasized U.S. support for Lebanon’s “sovereignty and independence.”

Hariri was killed in a massive bomb blast on the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005 . His death  that year was widely blamed on Syria although Damascus has denied any involvement.

A commemoration will be held Sunday for Hariri at the martyrs square in downtown Beirut  . As in the past , hundreds of thousands of Lebanese are expected to to be there , to show appreciation for the man who rebuilt the country after the civil war.

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