The United States on Tuesday described the killing of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel as an act of terrorism and asked the international community to support Prime Minister Siniora and to oppose all those who are trying to divide Lebanon.
"Obviously this is a very sad day for Lebanon. We were shocked by this assassination. We view it as an act of terrorism. We also view it as an act of intimidation against the March 14th coalition," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said.
"We believe it's the responsibility of all countries to support the Siniora government and to oppose those who would try to divide Lebanon or return violence to political life in Lebanon," he said.
"It's very, very important that those who would divide Lebanon, who would use violence to destabilise the political situation, not be able to succeed. And we will give full support to the Siniora government in the days and weeks ahead to support that government, to support its continuation, because it's been duly elected by the people of Lebanon, to support what it needs to do to reconstruct the country.
"It's a very sad day to see a young leader like this who was devoted to public service to be gunned down. And so, it does instill in us a belief that we have to redouble our efforts and those of our friends in the Arab world, as well as in Europe, to support the Siniora government" the senior State Department official said.
"We call on all countries to support the unity and territorial integrity of Lebanon and to free Lebanon from these acts of political intimidation and terrorism. This was an act of terrorism today," Burns said.