Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, delivered the following speech during the ceremony held today at the Movenpick Hotel marking the fourth commemoration of the assassination of former Minister Mohammed Chatah:

“Four years have passed since the martyrdom of my brother, my friend, my companion in the difficult times Mohammed Chatah. In each of the four years, I felt the great void left by Mohammed. But this year I felt his absence more than any other year, I felt how much I need him to be by my side, how much I need his wisdom, his mind and his solidity during one of the most difficult crisis in my political life.

Mohammed Chatah fell on the same road as martyr Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. Together they took the path of moderation and state building, and together they died on the path of moderation and defense of the role of the state.

Mohammed Chatah, for me, was not just a page of Rafic Hariri’s history, but a real companion in the most difficult days, a friend in facing the most serious crises and a companion in elaborating the most important compromises.

When we say that Mohammed was the prince of moderation, it means that he was an intellectual and political pillar for the protection of the country from political recklessness and from the madness of using the weapons in the internal disputes.

Mohammed was a key pillar with former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and accompanied him for a long time. Every one of you accompanied Mohammed, and every one of you lived with Mohammed and heard from Mohammed and expressed his thoughts.

Mohammed was a Lebanese par excellence. His attachment to Lebanon differed from that of many. He was a Lebanese in every sense of the word, who loved this country and wanted to serve it. But how could he serve it amid all these divisions, disputes and disagreements?

He had principles but his first thought was what should this country do for the Lebanese citizen? What is the duty of the state? How will the state rise? He knew that Lebanon was affected by all these regional differences, and I do not think that anyone had all the answers, but Mohammed’s first answer was Lebanon first, he put Lebanon and the Lebanese people first.

We can talk a lot about Mohammed in politics, but I am also talking about Mohammed the father, the husband, the friend and the advisor. He was a man with long experience, loving, with a smile that never left his face. He always said in times of difficulty: “Things will be fine, we can find solutions.”

Today, Mohammad’s title is the symbol of dialogue. Believe me, this country cannot live without dialogue. We can all defy each other and shout at each other and fight each other, but in the end, the country will pay the price.

Dialogue, that Mohammed Chatah symbolizes, remains the only path. We will not agree on many things with some political parties in this country, especially in regional matters, even in internal matters. But without dialogue, where will the country be? Have we not lived in the days of lack of dialogue before the Taif Agreement? Where did we reach? We fought then we sat down at the dialogue table, in Taif and not in Lebanon, in order to find a political solution. Taif is fine because we will always be the first defenders of this constitution.

Mohammed Chatah, we miss you, we love you, we will always love you and you will remain in our hearts.

My condolences to his family, Nina, Omar and Rani, who lost the most. On this day, we remember him and miss him. May God have mercy on his soul.”

Source: National News Agency