BEIRUT: Lebanon Saturday announced a three-day mourning period over the passing of former Prime Minister Rashid Solh, who will be buried in his hometown of Beirut, in the Ouzai suburb later in the day.
In a statement, the office of Prime Minister Tammam Salam said the mourning period will begin Saturday and will be accompanied by a lowering of Lebanese flags at all government buildings.
An official convoy transported Solh's body at 4 p.m. from his residence in Ain el-Tineh to the Ouzai cemetery, where dozens of officials attended the funeral procession and bid farewell to the former PM.
"With the passing of Solh, Lebanon has lots one of its good leaves, who contributed to its independence and renaissance in spreading coexistence values and dialogue,” Salam said.
“Solh was a Beirut resident who remained in contact with all of the city's residents ... he lived through difficult times in Lebanon's history where he was adamant on playing his national role without jeopardizing the Lebanese national entity.”
A former judge, Solh passed away at the age of 88 Friday. He was a prime minister when Lebanon’s Civil War broke out in April 1975, after which he resigned.
He also served as a prime minister in 1992, three years after Lebanese factions signed the Taif Agreement which brought the Civil War to an end. He was appointed PM by former President Elias Hrawi to form a government that oversaw the parliamentary elections, which were boycotted by the majority of Christians.
The late politician was elected an MP in 1964, 1972 and 1992.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri described Solh as a popular man who represented Beirut in Parliament several times, and was appointed premier in "Lebanon's most difficult and complicated time."
"Solh served Lebanon in a calm and wise manner, and he comes from a family that has given Lebanon its most honorable men," Hariri said in a statement.
"He dedicated his life to serving Beirutis and today they bid farewell to him."