Berri spoke at a rally commemorating the disappearance of Sadr, the founder of Amal. (The Daily Star, Stringer)
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Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday called for military coordination between Lebanon and Syria in the battle against terrorism, rekindling a highly contentious issue that has sharply divided rival political factions. Berri also joined Prime Minister Saad Hariri in defending former premier Tammam Salam, whose government has been accused by Syria's allies of negligence in rescuing more than 30 Lebanese servicemen taken hostage by militants when they briefly seized the northeastern town of Arsal in August 2014 .Berri, also the Amal Movement leader, absolved the Salam government and former Army chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi of responsibility for the failure to rescue the kidnapped soldiers in 2014 .Two days after the remains of eight soldiers were uncovered on Arsal's outskirts, in a location disclosed by Daesh militants as part of a Hezbollah-negotiated deal that ended Daesh's presence on Lebanon's northeastern border as well as Syria's mountainous western Qalamoun region, a number of Lebanese politicians allied with Syria also criticized the Salam government for not granting the Army the "political decision" to rescue the kidnapped soldiers.Berri hit back at politicians who criticized Hezbollah's negotiated deal with Daesh that led to the militants' retreat from Lebanese territory and revealing the fate of the kidnapped soldiers.
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