"We tell the criminals that we will not give up our rights, no matter what the difficulties and obstacles are," he said.

 

Siniora, whose anti-Syrian majority dominates the Lebanese cabinet, convened the session despite objections by Emile Lahoud, the president, and the resignation of six Shia ministers.

 

The resignations left the 18 remaining ministers approving the United Nations document, and they defended the cabinet's decision as legal.

 

Ghazi Aridi, the information minister, quoted Siniora as saying: "It is 100 per cent constitutional."

 

Syrian involvement

 

A UN investigation has implicated senior Syrian officials, but Syria has denied any role in the assassination.

 

Al-Hariri was killed along with 22 others in a truck bombing.

 

The assassination caused large anti-Syrian protests in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, and led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence.

 

Subsequent elections brought an anti-Syrian majority to power in parliament and the cabinet.