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Berri: Tackling terrorism a priority

Berri focused his speech on ways to confront terrorism, notably the state terrorism practiced by Israel.

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri called Tuesday for those financing and arming terrorist groups to be denounced, the National News Agency reported.

His comments came during a speech in Tehran at the ninth session of the Union of Parliaments of the states enrolled in the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

He focused his speech on ways to confront terrorism, notably the state terrorism practiced by Israel.

“The takfiri state terrorism [practiced by Israel] – which was not curbed internationally, was not held accountable and was protected many times by the [Security Council] veto power so that the United Nations would never succeed in denouncing it – is what has encouraged the rising of other takfiri, religious and sectarian terrorism. They are actually twins,” Berri said.

“This new terrorism has invaded the civil life in our countries and assassinated and committed mass executions ... blown up the houses of worship, wedding venues and targeted the everyday life of the citizens in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Lebanon. We call on this conference to denounce all forms of Israeli terrorism and denounce the sources of financing and arming the terrorist group,” he added.

Berri also called for an Islamic pact to be reached to prevent the terrorists from abusing Islam and Islamic Shariah as cover for their crimes, as well as the adoption of a United Nations resolution that calls on countries to fight intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigma, discrimination and incitement to violence on the basis of religion and belief.

Berri also saluted the Saudi royal decision to prohibit people joining fanatic groups and to hold accountable those who do.

The head of the Amal movement also noted in his speech that stability in the Middle East and development of the region’s political life depended on two factors: the restoration of Syria’s strength and renewed attention to the Palestinian cause, which should be made an Islamic priority.

In his speech, Berri also said he expected the Lebanese Parliament to succeed in adopting a new election law, and demanded the formation of a joint Islamic market.

In November 2000, the organization endorsed then-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s call for the creation of an Islamic common market as a practical step with long-term benefits. However, the proposal was never implemented.

A common market, Hariri said at the time, was essential for such growth, and “would not be a private enterprise isolated from the world, but a market of common interests and development that qualifies for joining the emerging world economic order.”

Speaking in Iran, Berri called for the idea to be revived. “I call for forming a committee that would lay the good foundations for establishing the common Islamic markets and common free trade zones and ports. Increasing trade and removing the trade barriers among the member countries is something dependable now and in the future on forming such markets.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also stressed the need to confront terrorism in his speech during the inauguration of the session.

“Terrorism is a rampant cross-border disaster and the violence practiced under the slogan of fighting terrorism is denounced,” he said, stressing the importance of moderation and moral practices.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 19, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

Speaker Nabih Berri called Tuesday for those financing and arming terrorist groups to be denounced, the National News Agency reported.

His comments came during a speech in Tehran at the ninth session of the Union of Parliaments of the states enrolled in the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

He focused his speech on ways to confront terrorism, notably the state terrorism practiced by Israel.

The head of the Amal movement also noted in his speech that stability in the Middle East and development of the region's political life depended on two factors: the restoration of Syria's strength and renewed attention to the Palestinian cause, which should be made an Islamic priority.

In his speech, Berri also said he expected the Lebanese Parliament to succeed in adopting a new election law, and demanded the formation of a joint Islamic market.


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