Berri, Salam Call for Political Solidarity to Confront Terrorism

Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Tammam Salam stressed on Saturday the importance of political solidarity among the rival parties to confront terrorism in the country.

The tourist season is the first “victim of terrorism, which began to thrive in Lebanon after the developments in Iraq,” Berri said in comments published in local newspapers.

Berri told As Safir newspaper that the Lebanese “have no other option but to unite and to trigger the work of states institutions through electing a new president and reviving the work of the parliament and cabinet.”

“Crying and condemnation press releases will not be enough,” Berri told An Nahar daily.

He pointed out that expressing support to security agencies isn't enough. “We are demanded to provide them with a political cover in order to carry out their tasks.”

Berri expressed concern that the country will head into the “unknown amid the turmoil in the region, if officials failed to learn the lesson.”

On Friday, a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle near a police checkpoint in the eastern town of Dahr al-Baydar, while the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau raided two hotels in the capital, arresting suspected members of an al-Qaida breakaway group allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in the country.

After the bombing, security forces also deployed at all the entrances to Beirut, preventing trucks from entering the Lebanese capital for fear of more bombings.

The Lebanese are deeply split over the civil war in neighboring Syria, with Sunnis largely backing the insurgency and Shiites siding with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

For his part Salam urged officials in comments published in As Safir newspaper “to assume their responsibilities in order to confront the terror challenges.”

“Further security measures should be implemented,” Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq told the daily.

He called on politicians to put differences aside as “the country cannot endure further rift.”

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