Lebanese officials called for national unity Saturday on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the assassination for former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
“We miss Rafik Hariri, with his optimism and ambition... We are in dire need of someone to bring together the pieces of this nation, which has witnessed a sectarian divide,” former Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Twitter.
Cooperation between all groups in the country to achieve national unity will “take [Lebanon] out of future crises.”
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian visited Hariri’s grave in Downtown Beirut, reflecting on his “sacrifices to Lebanon.”
“The country that Rafik Hariri deserves and sacrificed for is a great country indeed. For this reason we continue to be faithful in what Hariri believed in,” Derian said.
He also praised Hariri’s son, Saad, who is the current leader of the Future Movement, saying that he followed in his father's “footsteps in maintaining civil peace and stability.”
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi from Hariri's Future Movement wrote on Twitter that he would "not back down until those who planned, ordered and executed the assassination are behind bars."
In comments published by the Al-Mustaqbal daily newspaper, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt voiced concern over Lebanon's future, saying that "the Feb.14 anniversary brings back memories of people and stubborn struggle for justice, sovereignty and independence."
Lebanese Force’s chief Samir Geagea posted on his Twitter page: “We will not let you [Hariri] be assassinated twice,” without elaborating.
Future bloc MP Samir Jisr said during a speech in the northern city of Tripoli that Hariri's assassination "made everyone realize that Lebanon is targeted as a whole."
Hariri was killed along with 21 others in a massive car bombing in Beirut on Feb. 14, 2005.
Saad Hariri is scheduled to address via video link a ceremony held in commemoration of his father Sunday at the Biel complex in Downtown Beirut.
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