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Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in establishing a Special Tribunal for Lebanon; when the tribunal is expected to begin its work; and if she will make a statement. (124846)

Following approval by the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General's Personal Representative passed the draft text of the statute on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon to the Lebanese authorities on 10 November 2006 for their agreement.

However, on 11 November 2006, Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from the Lebanese Cabinet. Nevertheless, on Saturday 25 November the Cabinet, minus Hezbollah and its allies, went on to approve the draft statute. The statute is now awaiting parliamentary approval; although, in the context of the current Lebanese political impasse it is unclear if and when this will happen. As such, we cannot estimate when the tribunal will begin its work.