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Berri Announces Several Development Projects in Bekaa, Urges Speedy Cabinet Formation

Lebanon’s House Speaker and Head of Amal Movement Nabih Berri announced on Friday several projects to attain the socioeconomic development in Bekaa, calling on the President Michel Aoun and the Premier-designate Saad Hariri to meet in order to speed up the cabinet formation process.

“We are talking about ending deprivation, not only Shiite deprivation but also the deprivation of Arsal, Brital’s outskirts, the entire western and eastern mountain belts, Akkar, Dinniyeh and Tripoli.”

During a speech commemorating 40th anniversary of disappearance of Amal Movement Founder Imam Sayyed Moussa al-Sadr, Berri announced, on behalf of Amal and Hezbollah, lifting the cover off every wrongdoer, offender or drug dealer; on behalf of the two party’s parliamentary blocs, he called for issuing a calculated general amnesty that excludes homicides and attacks on security forces.

“We call for dropping the arrest warrants through the law. We stressed our confidence in the army and the security forces to preserve Bekaa’s security, but the pressing situations in the Bekaa require developmental projects.”

The House Speaker further pointed out that some parties are trying to “drive a wedge between Amal and Hezbollah and stage a coup against the national duo”.

Berri also stressed that Amal Movement will continue working on liberating Imam Sadr and his two companions from his place of detention in Libya, calling on the Lebanese government to give utmost attention to this cause and to support the follow-up committee.

Imam Sadr founded the Lebanese Amal (Hope) Movement in 1974. The cleric who is of Iranian descent came to Lebanon in 1959 to work for the rights of Shia Muslims in the port city of Tyre, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Beirut.

His eminence disappeared on August 31, 1978, during an official visit to the Libyan capital Tripoli.

He was accompanied by Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine.

Lebanon still holds former Libyan authorities under rule of dictator Moammar Gaddafi responsible for the disappearance of the trio.

Since Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011, Lebanon and Iran have repeatedly called on the Libyan government to launch an investigation into Sadr’s disappearance.

Hannibal Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator, is currently in custody in Lebanon, facing charges of withholding information regarding Sayyed Sadr’s case.

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