Report: All Eyes on Berri's Speech Marking Sadr Disappearance

Political circles are looking forward to see what will Speaker Nabih Berri state during a ceremony that will mark the 38th disappearance of Imam Moussa al-Sadr and his two companions, as expectations rise that his address will have an echo at the political situation prevailing in Lebanon, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Wednesday.
Berri will deliver his speech at a ceremony hosted by the AMAL movement in the southern city of Tyre on the occasion. The Speaker is expected to deliver several regional and local positions that observers believe will have a significant impact.
“The opportunity is still available for political forces of different affiliations to elect a president as soon as possible. They should not miss out on this opportunity as they missed out on its predecessors,” Berri told al-Joumhouria on the eve of the anniversary.
On allegations linking the political impasse in Lebanon to the crisis in Syria, Berri said: “Talks linking Lebanon to the developments in the region, especially to the situation in Syria, are misplaced. I am certain that the Lebanese have the solution in their own hands.”
Berri had launched an initiative in June aimed at ending the impasse. He called for shortening the term of parliament and that the elections be held based on the 1960 law should political forces fail to agree on a new electoral one.
He also called for staging the presidential elections after the parliamentary ones and forming a national unity government.
His suggestion did not meet the approval of all political parties.
Regarded by Lebanon's Shiites as a key spiritual guide, Sadr vanished on August 31, 1978 amid mysterious circumstances and was last seen in Libya where he was invited by Gadhafi.
At the time, Sadr was trying to negotiate an end to Lebanon's civil war (1975-1990), in which Palestinian factions were involved.
Gadhafi was believed to be shipping weapons to the Palestinians and other groups and Sadr, according to reports, was hoping to convince the Libyan despot to refrain from stoking the unrest in Lebanon.
But his visit to Tripoli along with two aides took a sour turn after he got into a heated argument with Gadhafi who ordered that the three men be "taken away," according to an indictment against the Libyan leader issued by Lebanese authorities.
Relations between Libya and Lebanon have been at a low point since the cleric's disappearance, which dealt a heavy blow to the Shiite community.
Source Naharnet