Hariri’s Commemoration: Arab and international testimonials, diverse presence

FEBRUARY 14, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Marking the 10th commemoration of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri’s assassination, the “Future Movement” organized Saturday an official event at “Biel” in Beirut’s Central District, in presence of former PM Saad Hariri, who arrived in Lebanon specifically to partake in his late father’s remembrance ceremony.

Attending the commemoration event was former President Michel Sleiman; House Speaker Nabih Berri’s representative, MP Abdul-Latif Zein; Prime Minister Tammam Salam; in addition to Lebanese Forces Party Head, Samir Geagea; a delegation by the Change and Reform Bloc, as well as various cabinet ministers, members of parliament, religious dignitaries and prominent figures.

The event began by the Lebanese National Anthem performed by Artist Singer Tania Kassis, accompanied by an orchestra, followed by a minute of silence in memory of the souls of all fallen martyrs who lost their lives on that tragic assassination day.

Palestinian Authority Head, Mahmoud Abbas, gave a testimonial video recording in remembrance of the late PM Hariri, in which he described the incidents that occurred in Lebanon after the assassination as “critical and revolutionary” and recalled Hariri’s many attributes that gained him the love of his people.

A testimony by former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Badr al-Humaidhi then followed, in which he considered that Martyr Hariri “did not have any militia, but rather worked on re-building the country’s infrastructure,” noting that “a lot has been done in this area.” He added that, “If Hariri were still alive, he would have achieved a lot more.”

Former Turkish President Abdullah Gul also gave a testimonial recording, in which he said “PM Hariri worked on consolidating Turkish-Lebanese bilateral relations,” and praised “the reconstruction phase that Lebanon experienced throughout his mandate.” He also commended Hariri’s “positive outlook on the role of the Lebanese youth in the Renaissance era,” adding that “Hariri was not only a leader for the Lebanese people, but also enjoyed great respect in all countries of the world, and we feel his absence in the region.”

A videotaped testimony by former World Bank President James Wolfenson also touched on PM Hariri’s “interest in the country’s future and his dreams for Lebanon and for its generations of young people,” hoping for more people like him.

Cardinals’ Council Dean, former Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then gave a testimonial message in memory of Martyr Hariri, followed by a testimony by Iraqi MP Iyad Allawi, who said that “the conflict in our region is between moderation and extremism, and the late Rafic Hariri was of this opinion.” He described his absence as “a loss for the Arab nation as a whole,” adding that he “played a role in the consolidation of relations with Europe, Lebanon and the Arab world, and was a moderate man, capable of confronting issues and contributing to solving crises,” noting that “he was a man of crisis and for this reason was assassinated.”

Arab Fund for Development Chairman, Abdul-Latif Mohammed, also gave a testimonial in memory of the late PM Hariri, in which he described him as “one of the rare Arab world leaders, who worked on Lebanon’s reconstruction after a devastating war,” adding that “he was a forgiving person and a wise leader, which is lacking nowadays in the Arab world.”

SOURCE: National News Agency- Lebanon