Raad Hails Berri's 'Political Role' after al-Sayyed's Remarks
The head of Hizbullah's parliamentary bloc has hailed the “political role” of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, amid a war of words between the speaker's AMAL Movement and controversial MP Jamil al-Sayyed.
Al-Sayyed, a former chief of Lebanon's General Security agency, was elected as a representative for the Baalbek-Hermel region after running on an electoral list formed by both Hizbullah and AMAL.
“This rotten regional, power-hungry and partisan fanaticism is a ploy to stir discord and everyone must confront it,” MP Mohammed Raad says in a video distributed heavily on social networking websites.
“This issue will not go unnoticed,” he stresses.
Raad adds: “The martyrs have united us and turned us into a respected force. We pride ourselves in our wise and courageous leadership and we pride ourselves in the political role that Speaker Nabih Berri is performing. It consolidates the unity of our people and we will not allow anyone to stir discord or to poison the relations, whether intentionally or unintentionally.”
“No one, near or far, will be able to fragment this path or to create gaps from which the enemies can penetrate... Small incidents cannot drag us anywhere, seeing as we are seeking to protect our country against the threats and to preserve its sovereignty,” Raad went on to say.
Al-Sayyed swiftly announced that the video “dates back to a few months ago and has been used out of its context.”
“You can clearly hear the voice of the person who fabricated it saying 'Shiites of the state,'” the MP added.
In another tweet, al-Sayyed appeared to backpedal on his announcement that the video is old.
“Hizbullah's media officer has confirmed to me that MP Raad's statement has been used out of its context and that it was not addressed against Maj. Gen. al-Sayyed... The phrase 'it dates back to a few months ago' was announced by mistake,” al-Sayyed added.
A war of words has escalated between al-Sayyed and the AMAL Movement in recent days.
Al-Sayyed accused some AMAL officials of accepting bribes and said the Movement's MPs have not sought to improve the developmental situation in the impoverished Baalbek-Hermel region contrary to what they did in the South.
His remarks drew a violent response from the AMAL Movement, which issued an official statement accusing al-Sayyed of “launching accusations and fabricating stories to create a status for himself.”
“We will not be dragged into the sedition that he wants to stir in the (Shiite) arena,” AMAL added.