Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri held an "Iftar" on Sunday evening in the town of Bebnin, in honor of families and dignitaries from Akkar region, during which he delivered the following speech:
"Dear friends of Akkar, May God's mercy and blessings be upon you.
From where can I start to talk about Akkar? From the fact that it is the reservoir of the State, the army, the security forces and all the legitimate security forces? From the fact that Akkar is the reservoir of coexistence and national unity among all the Lebanese? From the fact that Akkar is the reservoir of Arabism and the defense of Lebanon's national identity?
From the fact that Akkar is the reservoir of magnanimity and generosity in receiving our brothers who were displaced from the hell of Bashar al-Assad and his criminal allies in Syria?
And here allow me to pay tribute to the sons of Wadi Khaled and Akroum who opened the houses to the displaced, from the first moment, before the international community and humanitarian organizations took any move.
I salute all the inhabitants of Akkar who are making sacrifices, in the absence of employment opportunities for young men and women in all of Lebanon, due to the political paralysis after two years of presidential vacuum.
Some people in this country decided to tie our fate to the fate of Bashar al-Assad. They imposed the presidential, institutional and socio-economic vacuum on the country, until they see what will happen in Syria. At the same time, they tell us that the Future Movement has been betting for five years on the fall of Bashar al-Assad and he has not fallen! And that the Future Movement is betting on a new regime in Syria, and plans to use it to intimidate its partners in the state. To those I want to say: Yes, Bashar al-Assad will fall ... inevitably, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, or in a year.
How can someone who killed half a million from his people continue to rule his country? In fact, even today, he is not ruling his country. At best, he is the general supervisor of the civil war and the destruction of Syria.
History has a logic. And justice has a logic. Let anyone give us one example in history of a ruler who followed this path and remained! The new Syria will rise from the rubble, and we hope that the Syrian people will reach freedom and free himself from the two arms of the plier: the hand of the oppressive killer regime and its allies, and the hand of terrorism that kills misleadingly under the name of religion!
But to say that we are betting on the change in Syria to intimidate others in the country is false and misleading: the Future Movement does not hand the Lebanese national decision to any external will, whether Arab and non-Arab...unlike Hezbollah...!
The important thing is to have a normal regime in Syria and a normal leader, and a regime that wants to cooperate with Lebanon not dominate it.
Those accusing us of having bet on the fall of the Syrian regime during the first year of the uprising are the ones who bet to end it in the first few months, and they have been waiting to do that for the past five years, bringing thousands of armed men from Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and other countries.
At least we are working to prevent the spread of fire from Syria to Lebanon, not throwing the Lebanese youth and Lebanon's interests in the Syrian fire just because Iran decided to fight in defence of Bashar till the last Lebanese!
Two years ago I launched an initiative to disengage Lebanon from the Syrian war, called for the withdrawal from any kind of military participation in the war, to commission the army and the security forces to protect the borders and prevent infiltration, and called for the issuance of a national document to fight terrorism and extremism.
They responded to the initiative by insisting on participating in the war and expanding the participation to other countries until they reached Yemen! Fighting in Yemen is now more honourable than fighting the Israeli enemy! May God help Palestine!
They fell into a spiral from which they can't get out without an Iranian decision! And this decision is like the devil dreaming of heaven! If Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah decides to withdraw from Syria and Iran does not want this, he will not withdraw!
We want to prepare our youth for life, work, production, creativity and not for death, war and destruction. We want all of Lebanon and Akkar to be a region that bustles with development, projects, life and hope. This is why we prepared a comprehensive development scheme for Akkar that includes: Water, electricity, roads, sewage, health and education.
You all know the essential role of the Future Movement to allocate 100 million dollars for the development in Akkar, 33 million of which have already been paid. I am honoured to announce today that the second payment of $33 million will be transferred from the Ministry of Finance.
The 100 million dollars will include essential projects, including 35 million for the Lebanese University branch in Akkar, 15 million for rehabilitating roads, 20 million for vocational schools, 2 and a half millions to equip Wadi Khaled hospital and the rest for infrastructure projects.
In addition to these projects, we are following up the vital project for Akkar and the North, i.e. Martyr Premier Rafic Hariri's highway. The expropriation decree was issued a year and a half ago. Now, the committee is working to start the first phase from Mhamamra to Kweikhat.
Also, we didn't forget the second vital project, the Kleiat Airport. The preliminary studies are underway for the airport to be used as soon as the Syrian war ends, then the airport will play a big role just like Akkar and the North as a whole in rebuilding Syria and Iraq.
Meanwhile, Beit Mallat -al-Ouyoun power station increased power supply of Akkar by 50% and a plan is being to enlarge Halba electricity plan with transmission lines. And since water and its projects are essential for your region, a tender will be presented in the next 45 days for the Akkar water project after the amendments proposed by MP Mouein Merhabi.
Finally, although we should wait for the official letter, you should know that the preliminary approval arrived from the Italian donors to outsource the refining station in Meshmesh.
We owe Akkar a lot, and whatever we do will not be enough. Ramadan Karim."
Source: National News Agency