Former Speaker Kamel al-Asaad dies at age 78.
BEIRUT: Former Parliament Speaker Kamel al-Asaad passed away on Sunday at the age of 78 after a long battle with illness.
Asaad headed Lebanon's Parliament several times, between May and October of 1964, between May and October of 1968 and finally from 1970 to 1984.
He was born in Marjayoun in south Lebanon in 1932 to a noble family, and his father Ahmad al-Asaad was also a former speaker. The late Kamel al-Asaad was the president of the Social Democratic Party.
Lebanon's political figures regretted the politician's death and paid tribute to his work and achievements.
Current Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri paid his condolences to the Lebanese people and former Speaker Hussein al-Husseini regretted Asaad's death and issued a statement.
"Whether people agreed with him or not, he was a statesman of the required level and an expert in democratic parliamentary practices," the statement said. "Lebanon lost one of its great men," it added.
Vice President of the Higher Shiite Islamic Council Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan also presented his condolences to all the Lebanese and to the Shiite sect in particular.
He described Asaad as open minded and a person who worked for the country's benefit. "He was a great statesman, had firm stances and could not be bought," he said, noting that Israel was his only enemy. "His sole concern was to preserve national unity and Lebanon's stability," Qabbani added.
Asaad's family paid their condolences to the Lebanese people and announced the date of the funeral.
The late Lebanese politician will be laid to rest at the Shrine of Sayyida Zeinab in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday. -- The Daily Star
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|Publication:||The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Jul 26, 2010|
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