SIDON, Lebanon: The leader of the Kataeb Party inaugurated a new office in the Jezzine village of Lebaa during a rare visit to south Lebanon Sunday, saying that his party seeks to return to its roots in all parts of the country. Accompanied by Kataeb officials, local political and religious figures, Amin Gemayel greeted supporters and said that the opening of new offices across the country is a way to honor the Lebanese martyrs who fought for the country’s independence and freedom.
“Returning to Lebaa, east Sidon and Jezzine in the south is crucial because we know how much this region suffered and struggled in the past.”
“Returning to Lebaa is a return to our roots,” he said in a speech.
Last month, Gemayel inaugurated a branch for the party in Batroun’s Kfarabida and one in the Bekaa city of Zahle.
“My presence with you today is because of my faith in this land, in Lebaa and its sacrifices ... my faith in the sacrifices that this region made for Lebanon,” Gemayel said.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by officials from the Future Movement, the Jezzine representative of the Lebanese Forces Robert Khoury and Lebaa’s mayor Kamil Fares.
Gemayel said that the Kataeb Party would never forget the sacrifices of the Lebanese people even as the country goes through difficult times.
“The Lebaa [visit] is the strongest evidence that the Kataeb Party will continue the struggle against the challenges and the plots that threaten the country,” Gemayel said.
“The Kataeb Party will remain in all of Lebanon’s dearest villages in the south,” Gemayel added.
In his speech before touring the new office, Gemayel called for a “political resistance” against the government’s neglect of the country’s needs.
“This is the way we can preserve the dignity of Lebanon and its people ... this is our goal today and the meaning of our meeting in Lebaa ... we did not simply come to open an office but we came to fulfill our promise to our beloved Lebanon and its message.”
Gemayel and his wife Joyce later walked through the office and then visited the residence of businessman Fadi Romanos in the presence of a number of political and religious figures.
Gemayel later visited Sidon MP Bahia Hariri at her residence in Majdalyoun in the afternoon Sunday.
The meeting was attended by Future Movement General Coordinator Nasser Hamoud and Kataeb Party member Joseph Nohra.
During his visit, Gemayel told Hariri that he would never visit Sidon without visiting the house of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Hariri welcomed Gemayel and discussed with him the recent developments on both local and regional levels.
“We are proud of the region’s [Sidon-Jezzine] Lebanese coexistence and we seek to preserve this coexistence to keep Sidon protected by its south and its east,” said Hariri.