Lebanon: Pro-Syrian politician killed as Hariri calls for reconciliation

Published September 10th, 2008 - 07:51 GMT

Lebanese police said a bomb blast has killed a Druze politician from a pro-Syrian party in the hills east of Beirut. According to the AP, police officials said Sheikh Saleh Aridi was killed Wednesday by a bomb that went off under his car in the village of Baissour. Aridi was a senior member of the pro-Syrian Lebanese Democratic Party.


Wednesday's explosion took place in the hills near the resort town of Aley.


Meanwhile, Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri on Wednesday waved a peace banner, pledging reconciliation in the Bekaa and participation in national dialogue with an "olive branch" to safeguard stability.

Hariri said he would take part in national dialogue to defend the state and civil order. "In a few days, we will go to the National Dialogue Conference at the Baabda Palace with the aim of defending the state, and with an olive branch in defense of civil order," Hariri stated.


"Dialogue is Lebanon's strength. It crystallizes all documents of reconciliation and opens all gates to all settlements."


Hariri, however, warned that "dialogue would be meaningless if it was at the expense of the state concept and at the expense of its institutions."


The Conference on National Dialogue that President Michel Suleiman has scheduled for Sept. 16 at the Baabda Palace "is a chance to put Lebanon on the track leading to the resurrection of a capable state, responsible for its people and practicing all its authorities and powers across all Lebanese territories," Hariri noted.


"This is a chance that should not be wasted as other opportunities had been wasted," he stressed.


Hariri predicted reconciliation in the Bekaa, similar to the understanding reached between feuding factions in the northern Town of Tripoli.


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