House Speaker Nabih Berri deemed Sunday that the approaching parliamentary elections must be a step towards lifting tutelage and hegemony off Lebanon.

Addressing the Lebanese Diaspora from his home in southern Lebanon in a televised speech at the Annual Diaspora Conference organized by Amal Movement's Berlin Chapter, Berri said Lebanon is in dire need for its expatriates, being important "human resources" necessary for its development.

"We are sharing for the first time in creating the future...This is the beginning of Lebanon's expatriate coming together with Lebanon's resident, and we hope that the expatriates will elect representatives who would cater to the affairs of expatriate communities," said the House Speaker.

He stressed that "the election is to build a society of resistance against the Israeli occupation, which is thirsty for our waters and breaches our airspace every day."

Berri also emphasized that "election is to protect the achievement of the Lebanese army and resistance in liberating the eastern outskirts...and to build a society of resistance against debts and to spread security and safety."

"The current battle is between sectarianism and democracy," he added.

The House Speaker went on to reiterate "commitment to supporting the army and security apparatuses and the implementation of Resolution # 1701...and working at the Diaspora level to launch the activities of the Expatriates Ministry and activate relations with countries of expatriate presence."

He thanked, herein, the Expatriates Ministry Directorate for "sending observers to monitor the electoral process."

Berri promised to work on "restoring the Lebanese nationality to children of Lebanese expatriates, and re-assigning an Expatriate Consul to take care of Lebanese civil status records, in addition to establishing schools for expatriates, linking them to Lebanese educational curricula, especially Arabic language education."

"We will also work to strengthen air transport lines, and establish a pool of attorneys to follow-up on the situation of Lebanese who are subjected to harassment," he vowed.

The Speaker reiterated his call to supporters to commit to the "Hope and Loyalty" electoral lists in the forthcoming elections, urging "those who failed to partake in the Election Day to register their names." He also warned against "those who play on sectarian sensitivities that destroyed Lebanon in 1958 and 1975," regretting their failure to learn from the painful lessons of the past.

Addressing the citizens of Bekaa and Akkar, Berri said that the upcoming developments would be different from the past concerning the general amnesty law.

Berri continued to caution against "the incidents of the Middle East which have reached the peak but failed to achieve their divisional goals," while anticipating victories following the achievements in Syria and Iraq to occur in Egypt and other regions as well.

The Speaker praised the victory over the attempts of sedition in the Arab world and hailed the authenticity of the Palestinian people. He stressed that international peace and security will not be achieved by changing the identity of enemies.

"This region will continue to endure the curse of Palestine until the establishment of a just and comprehensive solution and the realization of the aspirations of the Palestinian people," he underlined.

Referring to the Arab Summit currently held in Saudi Arabia, Berri said, "We do not want letters in print. This Summit should discuss confidence-building between Saudi Arabia and Iran, especially since I have heard about a political solution in Yemen."

He concluded by saying, "These elections will be an opportunity to lift off guardianship, and your vote is to preserve the democracy of Lebanon and national sovereignty...Do not listen to sectarian voices and give them your votes!"

Source: National News Agency

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