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Jumblatt salutes Syrian 'martyrs,' urges dialogue in Lebanon

MP Walid Jumblatt, center, places a pre-Baath flag of Syria on the grave of his father, Kamal Jumblatt, during a memorial ceremony in Mukhtara, in the Chouf, Lebanon, Friday, March 16, 2012. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: On the 35 anniversary of the assassination of Kamal Jumblatt, the founder of the Progressive Socialist Party, his son Chouf MP Walid Jumblatt saluted the “martyrs of the Syrian revolution,” and called for national dialogue in Lebanon.

“No matter how tough the political row in the country is, which will become tougher, we should adopt a democratic dialogue,” Jumblatt said in Baakline, the Chouf.

He added that the current political discourse among politicians in Lebanon might result in a civil war and strife which ultimately produces tragedies.

“A salute to the martyrs of Baakline, a salute to the martyrs of the Mountain and a salute to the martyrs of the Syrian Revolution,” the PSP leader said.

Earlier Friday, Jumblatt placed a pre-Baath flag of Syria on the grave of his father, Kamal Jumblatt, during a memorial ceremony in Mukhtara, in the Chouf.

The Chouf MP placed the pre-Baath flag, a symbol of the uprising in Lebanon’s neighbor, in the presence of Sidon MP Bahia Hariri and Economy Minister Nicolas Nahas, who was representing Prime Minister Najib Mikati during the ceremony.

Other March 14 coalition politicians also took part in the ceremony. No March 8 alliance figures participated in the event.

Jumblatt has become one of Assad’s staunchest critics, slamming the embattled president’s brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters which began on March 15, 2011.

Kamal Jumblatt and his companions Fawzi Shedid and Hafez Ghseini were shot dead by gunmen who intercepted their car in Chouf on March 16, 1977.

The late Jumblatt founded the PSP in 1949 and was the head of the National Movement, a coalition of Lebanese leftist factions that fought alongside Palestine Liberation Organization militants against Christian parties during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 Civil War.

Walid Jumblatt has in the past accused Syrian intelligence of being behind his father's assassination.

 

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