Berri: no Competition with Hizbullah

Published June 1st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and leader of Amal Shiite Movement pledged Wednesday “an alliance with Hizbollah,” the main resistance group that drove the Israeli occupation out of south Lebanon, reported the Lebanese English Daily Star on Thursday. 

Berri’s comments came during a tour of the liberated areas where he also called on some 6,000 Lebanese who fled to Israel during the withdrawal to return to their homeland, said the paper.  

When Berri arrived in Khiam, the stage for a detention camp during the occupation, thousands of supporters welcomed him, cheering and waving Amal flags.  

Addressing to the crowds, Berri said his trip was not to counterbalance a Hizbollah rally held last week.  

“I want to say I represent (Hizbollah Secretary-General Hassan) Nasrallah, and Nasrallah represents me. There’s no difference between us and therefore, there’s no competition,” he said.  

Berri stressed that national unity starts with the unity of Amal and Hizbullah. “There is solidarity between us,” he said.  

The speaker’s first stop was Marjayoun, where he arrived with several MPs shortly after an extraordinary Parliamentary meeting in Bint Jbeil.  

At the Eastern Orthodox Archbishopric, Berri was greeted by Archbishop Elias Kfoury.  

“The meeting of people of different religions in the south proves that this area’s residents have clear intentions. An area that has given blood as the price for its liberation doesn’t think in sectarian terms,” Berri was quoting as addressing the gathering.  

He urged the government to support the liberated areas, noting the Israeli government’s decision to spend $470 million to encourage residents of northern towns to stay in their homes.  

“Israel is spending so much on its north, although it wasn’t much affected by its occupation of Lebanon. Meanwhile, the south, which suffered a calamity as a result of the occupation, is being given government aid in small quantities,” he said – 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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