"I call on all those who appreciate Pierre's martyrdom to preserve his cause and for all of us to remain at the service of Lebanon. We don't want reactions and revenge."
"We strongly condemn this ugly crime. This is a cowardly act that targets the security and stability of Lebanon"
King Abdullah of Jordan
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The United Nations Security Council "unequivocally" condemned the killing as it endorsed plans for a special international court to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri.
A French-drafted statement read by Jorge Voto-Bernales, the Peruvian ambassador and council president, described Gemayel as "a patriot who was a symbol of freedom and of the political independence of Lebanon."
The 15-member council also called for all parties in lebanon to exercise restraint.
Before the plans were approved, John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, said the Gemayel slaying, which follows 14 other similar killings or assassination attempts on anti-Syria Lebanese politicians in the past two years, "makes clear why we have to support the democratic forces in Lebanon".
He said: "This is potentially a turning point in the history of that country and therefore of the region."
The action by the 15-nation council, in the form of a letter to Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, cleared the way for the plans to be submitted to the Lebanese government for its formal approval.
The UN investigation into al-Hariri's murder that is still under way has implicated senior officials from Syria, for decades the power-broker in its smaller neighbour. Damascus strongly denies any connection with the killing.
Diplomats said France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere planned to discuss the Gemayel killing with his council colleagues on the sidelines of a debate on the Middle East later on Tuesday.
French leaders condemned the assassination, with President Jacques Chirac branding it an "odious attack". Chirac - who has close personal ties with Lebanon - issued a statement condemning the "odious attack" and calling "for the assassins to be prosecuted and punished".
"Although Lebanon has been hit by this terrible tragedy, France is convinced the Lebanese people's will for independence, freedom and democracy will emerge even stronger."
Syria also condemned the killing as "a crime aimed at destabilising" its neighbour.
"This odious crime is aimed at destabilising Lebanon and disturbing the civil peace in the country," an official source said, quoted by the state news agency Sana.
The source said Syria worked to ensure "the security of Lebanon, its stability and unity of its people, and to preserve its civil peace".
Faisal Kalthoum, Syrian MP and member of the Central Committee of the Baath Party in Syria, told Al Jazeera: "The security authority [in Lebanon] should search for those who want to create a foothold for Israel [in Lebanon]."