Distinguished guests, representatives of the three political leaders, His Excellency the resistance president Emil Lahoud, Distinguished guests, religious and political figures, representatives of the diplomatic delegations, official delegations and specially the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, My brothers representatives of Lebanese parties and Palestinian factions, the families of the martyrs and the freed detainees, my dear brothers and sisters... May God's Peace, mercy and blessings be upon you all.
I welcome you all to this national wedding ceremony. Welcome to Samir, Maher, Khodor, Hussein, and Mohammed.
And I'd like also to welcome the martyrs whom we will welcome tomorrow in the same way we welcomed the pure live ones [the freed hostages]today.
Welcome to the pure martyrs... Lebanese, Palestinian, and Arabs... the privilege of this Ummah.
On the 12th of July 2006, a group of resistance fighters execute an operation to abduct two ‘Israeli' soldiers in order to liberate the patient what remains of the prisoners in the Zionist prisons, most prominently of them, the dean of the Lebanese and Arab detainees, Samir Kintar.
On the 16th of July year 2008, Samir has come back. And before him Nassim Nisr preceded him to liberty. Samir has come back and with him are brothers who fought for the sake of his liberation, the live ones sitting next to him and the martyrs whom we shall welcome tomorrow.
Is it a coincidence for the promise to be fulfilled and for the dream to be realized in July on the same days? Or is it God's willpower which controls every thing? Each person analyses and interprets in his own manner and based on his own faith.
In the timing there exists a lesson, an example, and indications for those who learn, contemplate and study. How did we reach this result? This matter [the swap] in certain stages seemed impossible or very far.
My brothers and sisters, the biggest main factor which enabled us achieve today's accomplishment which we call "Operation al Redwan"... the biggest main factor is the perseverance and the victory in the face of the July 2006 aggression and the failure of the enemy in achieving any of its goals and also the repercussions of this defeat on this entity, on its leadership, army, and people.
The only words, which were repeated by the delegations by the whole world was that 'you must release the two ‘Israeli' soldiers unconditionally'. The perseverance and the victory made Lebanon, made the resistance and made us all stand on firm grounds to continue the liberation of our prisoners and our martyrs. Here we must look back at those who fought in that battle, those who were in the leadership, those who were martyred, those who were injured, those who challenged [the enemy], those who stand on the front lines.
And the first person we remember is their mastermind leader and genius, the pure loved one... Hajj Imad Moghnieh peace be upon his soul.
And we also recall our steadfast people and its courageous historic stance, and how it embraced all religious factions and parties.
We remember stances of glory in the positions of [Lebanese] leaders. And we remember the perseverance and sufferings of our people, those whose homes were destroyed, whose stores were demolished, whose properties were burned and those who were displaced, the hundreds of thousands of displaced who slept under the sky for 33 days.
But they did not utter a single word showing reluctance or weakness. This perseverance, this victory is the main factor which contributed in achieving this accomplishment and this victory.
And the second factor is the very difficult negotiations in which we had many assisting factors.
First of all, the enemy's incapacity to retrieve the two soldiers without negotiating. This was very clear if you look at the results of the war. The war ended and the ‘Israeli' knew that he won't get the soldiers back save through negotiations. There was no other way.
The second point is the ‘Israeli' security and intelligence failure not only to know their whereabouts, but also of knowing their fate. This was a strong point in the negotiations.
Now had the fate of these two soldiers had been revealed, if there was a malfunction in the tactics or performance or in the management of the negotiations... had the fate of the two soldiers been revealed, the negotiations and the results of the negotiations would have taken a different direction. This was a strongpoint in the negotiations.
The third point which is exceedingly important is the fear of the enemy of announcing the failure of the negotiations or of leading the negotiations to failure...his fear that this would lead the resistance in Lebanon to perform another abduction operation.
Therefore, the pressuring factors on the ‘Israeli' enemy were not just humanitarian factors. There was incapacity to save the two soldiers and the intelligence informational incapacity as well as the fear of the resistance that he knows far too well that it promised and will fulfill its promise... had what the resistance had in hand not been enough to return Samir and his brothers then it would have gone and performed what would have returned Samir and his brothers.
This matter was evident in the discussions of the ‘Israelis' themselves and was present in the enemy's cabinet when the vast majority voted [in favor of the prisoner swap]. The ‘Israelis' started regretting and blaming each other...they are the very ones who lost the chance of liberating Samir and Nasim and Yahya in the year 2004 as a result of internal disputes between [Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Ariel] Sharon.
And we told them in the welcome of the freed hostages in 2004 "You kept Samir Kintar and you will regret this!" And they have truly regretted it. And they know that if the negotiations didn't lead to the current situation, then it would lead to a place ‘Israeli' is not ready for al all.
There are main factors to which I will add a fourth which is the perseverance of Samir Kintar and his steadfastness, his firmness and his positions which he used to declre in his letters from inside the prison. He did not pressure us along the months of negotiations to hasten the accomplishment and the result. Hence, he gave us time so that we could achieve the best possible result for the other brothers [detainees].
In addition to this is the perseverance of the other detainees, the jihadi fighters. We used to look at them on the television screens in the pretentious ‘Israeli' judicial proceedings. I'd like to tell these young men that I used to listened to what your words. The last time I when one of you was asked a question and answered... When they asked you if ‘that someone' ordered you to fight again, would you fight again? He answered if we see ‘that someone' go into the sea we would go with him without him requesting that of us.
These words put tears in my eyes, tears of yearning and love for these mujahidiin who are not changed by prison cells or by the oppression of the prison-master.
In addition to them are the families of the detainees and the martyrs, the honorable patient families who put their trust in us, who had confidence in us. In consequence, they helped and contributed so that matters would take a natural course, to reach the best possible result.
These are major factors. In these negotiations, you must know from the result... the amount of effort by our negotiating team is revealed through its qualifications, precision, patience, and the pressures it was exerted to.
In your name and in the name of the captives and martyrs and the honorable families, I would like to thank those brothers who work in the dark and do so for God's sake and under His eyes.
We must also acknowledge the great effort which the international mediator exerted between the two sides to achieve this result. This is also an occasion to thank his eminence secretary general of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and to his delegates in the region, the German mediators.
Today the dean of Lebanese and Arab prisoners has come back alongside all the captives whom we know are alive from the enemy's prisons as well as a large number of bodies of martyrs who belong to resistance parties and factions, Lebanese and Palestinian [who were martyred] decades ago.
When Samir went, thirty years ago, Hizbullah was not in existence. And when the leader and martyr Dalal Mughrabi with her comrades accomplished their special courageous martyrdom operation, Hizbullah was not born yet.
For Hizbullah to regain them today, alive and martyrs, has large indications, most important of which is that the resistance project, the matter which people, the ummah, and the world must know well and we must accept and work based on it...that the resistance project is one project and that the resistance movement is one movement, and that its path is a single path...and its destiny is one destiny...its objective is one objective...even if its parties, its factions, its ideologies, its sects, and political and ideological approaches were numerous. This comes first.
Second, to stress that the resistance movements in the region and particularly in Lebanon and in Palestine are complementary continuous movements with cumulating efforts, experiences and sacrifices so that they might accomplish the same objectives in liberating the land, people, and sacred places.
My brothers and sisters, from this position, with this number of martyrs over thirty years, we recall all the sacrifices of resistance fighters from Lebanon and Palestine, and Arabs, including Islamic patriotic Arabic nationalist resistors, and to any ideology they belong to. We are pride ourselves, respect and appreciate all resistance factions and parties and all resistance fighters and martyrs that preceded us to the resistance, jihad, and struggle. We benefit from their experiences and are inspired by their sacrifices. We reserve their place in the past, present, and future of the resistance.
On the same note I would also like to stress, based on what I mentioned, that the true identity
of the people of our region... and this is the basis... the true original firmly-established identity of our region and Ummah is the identity, willpower, and culture of the resistance and the rejection of submission, occupation, and disgrace whoever the occupiers, tyrant, or oppressors be.
For that reason, and for decades, you can find that the flag did not fall; the flag of the resistance doesn't fall. It is carried from the hands of one group to another, from faction to faction, from party to party, from one title to another. Yet the parties, factions, frameworks, and titles remain but an external appearance for the true essence of this Ummah, that of the resistance, the rejection of oppression and tyrants.
Some of us may become tired, some may be killed, some may leave the battlefield, some may change their options... But Allah always placed someone in this region and in this Ummah to take hold the flag and continue on the path.
Therefore, the resistance movements and the factions set the example for people and generations to benefit from. Our resistance in Lebanon, though what it has done and accomplished, is also attempting to set an example that is complementary with the other examples and so that it be a model. We are honored that this be a model to be set as an example, even if spreading this model leads to placing us on terrorist lists in terrorist countries.
Here we must discuss the Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian and Arab detained men and women. As I said in the press conference, these dear ones have not left our thoughts or our negotiations throughout the two years despite our awareness of the difficulties facing us in this matter either due to the political difficulties or because of the true situation of the two soldiers we have.
On the other hand, the ‘Israeli' always presented excuses for his incapacity to release non-Lebanese in negotiations with a Lebanese resistance. We used to tell them that what we are concerned with is that the captives return home, ‘hand them over to whomever you want...to any leader, to any government, to any country, under any title, in any scenario, in any décor, in any form... it is not important that the matter be attributed to us... we are not seeking glory... our aim is that they return home.'
In any case, what was possible to achieve was that the swap include in its final phase the release of Palestinian detainees regardless of numbers and names. The matter was left in the hands of the international mediator and the Secretary General of the United Nations. Very soon it will be released in the United Nations... the letters including my letter in which I insisted that the greatest number of women, children, and sick persons be released hoping that something will be achieved of this.
To us, this is a symbolic humanitarian step. We don't expect huge outcomes from it. Our Palestinian brothers know the truth of the complications. Nevertheless, we insisted on the principle of the symbolism that the swap deal with a Lebanese resistance include Palestinian captives, regardless of names and numbers to emphasize the oneness of the cause and the unity of the fate as well as the correlation of all paths in the humanitarian and jihadi issue.
My brothers and sisters, as we rejoice the return of our captives, through you I wish to address the Arab world, to the millions of Arabs, to the hundreds of Millions of Muslims, to the Arab and Islamic governments among which are some of the richest countries in the world, and some of which have strong relations with the United States of America. I would like to address the governments and peoples to remind on the occasion of freeing our captives of the 11000 Palestinian captive men and women, and the tens of Jordanian, Syrian, and Arab captives. It is not proper that for the Arab and Islamic world to take their hands out of the matter and say, ‘this is a Palestinian matter. Let us leave the matter to the Palestinian authority, or let us leave the matter to Hamas or the Islamic Jihad or the Al-Aqsa Brigades or the remaining resistance parties, or the remaining Palestinian frameworks and parties...This is a Palestinian matter , and the Arab and Islamic world has nothing to do with it.'
Such words or positions or viewpoint is not correct in any legal, national, regional, humanitarian, moral, religious consideration. And in consequence, this entire Ummah must bring to mind the sufferings of 11000 captives and hostages and the sufferings of the families of 11000 hostages and captives and what they go through on the psychological, moral, and physically. The Arab world didn't move a finger. I am among those who believe in the resistance. Hence, to all those who speak of the diplomatic option, let the Arab and Islamic diplomacy alongside the great relations t hat our countries have... [Let them] come forth and exert an effort. And I tell you, no true effort has been exerted in this direction.
There are superficial statements at the end of summits and meetings of Arab nations. Let there be a serious framework on the official level, and let there be a serious framework on the level of movements, parties, and factions throughout the Ummah. Let the two frameworks work, each from its position to stand by the Palestinian people in all its powers. Let the issue of the Palestinian and Arab captives be a live issue which we work for in the media, in politics, and in diplomacy while others work for it in the battlefields of resistance. Let the efforts integrate to reach the aspired result.
Returning to the issue of Lebanon, the accomplishments have been completed as they have been brought together on one day. After the July war in 2006 was over, we had two objectives: The first...the venture to release the hostages through the difficult complicated negotiations.
This has been achieved today with God's help. The second: demanding a national unity government, the matter which was also achieved today with God's help.
After the war was over, we stood at the victory festival to call for a national unity government, not to defeat nor to overcome, not to torment nor to paralyze. Rather, as I said at the time, it was to stand shoulder to shoulder, and hand in hand to build Lebanon, to protect Lebanon.
Today, the Lebanese government, the national government, the first government in the term of the new president is placed if front of this huge historic opportunity. Today the national unity government was in session, and it took its official photo, and it placed a committee to write the ministerial statement.
It is among the success [granted by God], and I do not say coincidence since I don't believe in coincidences, the believer in God doesn't believe in coincidences...everything in this universe is submissive, prearranged, and bound to a greater will... It is a success that the government comes together for the first time and takes its official photo, and its first mission is to welcome the freed captives in the martyr Rafik Hariri airport. This is among the great successes for Lebanon, the government of Lebanon, and for the people of Lebanon.
Here I must address His Excellency President Michel Suleiman with thanks, the person who organized the reception of the captives in this huge national manner, as did his predecessor His Excellency President Emile Lahoud in the year 2004. The whole country is at and around the airport. I address His Excellency with thanks for what he has done and also for what he has said.
And I agree with every word he said in the reception speech.
The last time when we spoke after his Excellency, they said I was answering him. We weren't answering him; we were complementing what he said. Today we don't want to complete or take away. I support every word the president said in his reception of the hostages at the airport and I thank everyone who took part in this reception including current and previous presidents, ministers, members of parliament, representatives of the leaders of the religious sects, and all those who were present in that place.
Once again through the official scene at the airport in Beirut, again through the resistance and the national army standing side to side, shoulder to shoulder, martyr net to martyr...and once again through the public scene and the positions of the political powers...Lebanon proves that it is a country worthy of a persons sacrifice with his blood, sons, and loved ones for the pride, honor and glory of this country.
This is a promising day. It's a true holiday that must be used as a basis and foundation. Therefore, once again we call for unity, overlooking sensitivities, and staying away from stirring instigations and hostility. We must make use of the new opportunity that has opened in front of us as Lebanese to treat all the main and major problems which our country and people ail from in the spirit of cooperation. Nobody has entered the government to torment, defeat, or to paralyze. God willing, everyone enters the national unity government to effectively and seriously participate in solving this country's main problems and to revive Lebanon to the level that if worthy of the sacrifices of its men, women and children, martyrs and captives in the spirit of cooperation not in that of settling accounts and elimination.
I declare once again, and in view of what is placed for debate, that our concern is the liberation
of our land. We in Hizbullah are open to any discussion of the strategy of liberation of the Shibaa farms, Kfarshuba, and the part of Ghajar which is still occupied. All our concern is the defense of our country, our soil, our water, our sovereignty, our people and their dignity and security. We in Hizbullah are open to any debate over the national defense strategy. We insist on this debate.
Some are under the impression that we are escaping this issue. Not at all. We insist on it and ask that no one postpone it. Let us see the defense strategy which we have been talking of for years to reach a result because Lebanon has not left the circle of threats and dangers. We approach this debate and discussion with a serious positive attitude. Our objective is the protection of our country. We insist on this debate and that everyone take part in this debate, and that the government take responsibility in protecting and defending the country. Let us get out of the tale of "who is monopolizing defense and who is monopolizing the resistance...as if it were a feast people are scrambling to eat up,"
Lebanon has proved that it's a country worth sacrificing for. All we want is for our land to return to us, and we in Hizbullah, are open to any discussion over the defensive strategy. We insist on discussing it without delay. Lebanon is still in danger and it is important to have this dialogue with a positive mind. We will ask everybody to help us in defending our country and he who abandons this duty is a traitor.
We are ready to tackle any file in a way that serves our national unity.
In the coming days, we will know the fate of those missing in Israeli jails. We will also talks about the file of the Iranian diplomats."
Sayyed Nasrallah also recalled Imam Sayyed Moussa Sadr who has been kidnapped since 1978. "We want to close this file. If he was dead, give him back to us. No one should forget the founder of the resistance in Lebanon. I call for a real and serious joint Arab-Islamic cooperation to end this matter."
His eminence concluded: "I congratulate you again because this victory is yours and this achievement is yours. Freedom for the prisoners and mercy on the martyrs. All the pride and glory to Palestine, Lebanon and the Ummah."