Riad El Solh


The first prime minister of Lebanon The first prime minister of Lebanon (1943-45), after the country's independence Riad el-Solh served again in the same position from 1946 to 1951. Known as one of the most important personalities in Lebanon Riad el-Solh was able to unify his country's various religious groups in the struggle for independence. A gifted statesman and honourable man he was a fighter for pan-Arab and, above all, pan-Syrian unity. It was his country's post-Ottoman period shaped by the colonial imperatives of France and Britain rather than the wishes of their reluctant people. Ottoman by culture and birth, Riad el-Solh became an Arab, forged in the struggle against Ottoman and European imperialism. The Arabs were not permitted to run their affairs in the interwar period, and the natural evolution of constitutional politics was aborted. He emerged as the outstanding Arab statesman of his time. Several months after leaving office, Riad el-Solh was assassinated in Amman, Jordan.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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