Beirut – Saad Hariri, son of late Lebanese former prime minister Rafik Hariri and head of the majority bloc in Lebanon’s parliament, returned Sunday to Beirut and urged a big, peaceful demonstration on Tuesday’s anniversary of his father’s assassination. ‘I call on you all (Lebanese) Christian and Moslems to participate in the peaceful march next Tuesday,’ he said at a press conference at his family’s house in Beirut’s Quratem district.

He returned from Paris, where he has been living for the past six months along with his family for fear of also being the target of an assassination attempt. ‘My priority is unity among Lebanese…and for no interference from outside the border,’ he added, in a clear reference to Syria. ‘We have to stop those terrorists that are killing the good free men of this country.’ Asked about future relations with Syria, Hariri said: ‘We are not against ties with Syria, but they should be based on mutual respect.’ Hariri vowed that his father’s assassins would be punished no matter how high-ranking they were.

And he reiterated his call for the resignation of Lebanon’s President Emile Lahoud.

Since Hariri’s assassination, the anti-Syrian camp has been calling for the departure of Lahoud, especially after four of his top aides were arrested in connection with the killing.

Saad Hariri also called on Lebanese to sit down and hold a dialogue among themselves to solve their differences. ‘All our problems should be solved internally…not outside,’ he stressed.

Hariri also condemned last Sunday’s attacks by Muslim rioters against a Christian neighbourhood and churches. ‘We reject such acts, which are aimed at destabilizing our country,’ he said.

Muslim rioters protesting cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed set ablaze the Danish consulate last Sunday, then extended their attacks to a church, cars and shops in the Ashrafiyeh neighbourhood. The anti-Syrian opposition accused Syria of being behind such acts.

Last year Lebanon witnessed 15 bomb blasts targeting anti-Syrian political figures and journalists.