Elias Murr

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Elias Murr
Elias-Murr.JPEG
Elias Murr - 2007 photo
Born (1962-01-30)30 January 1962
Bteghrine  Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
Religion Eastern Orthodox

Elias Murr (Arabic: إلياس المرّʾIlyās al-Murr) (born in 1962) is a Lebanese politician who held different cabinet positions.

Early life and education[edit]

Murr was born on 30 January 1962 in Bteghrine. He is the son of former deputy prime minister and interior minister, Michel Murr.[1] He holds a Master’s degree in law.[2]

Political career[edit]

Elias Murr started his political career as the mayor of Bteghrine, his hometown, from 1982 till 1996.[3][better source needed]

From 2000 to 2005 Murr was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and Municipalities, replacing his father Michel Murr.[4] In 2001 he oversaw the drafting and signature of the International Labor Organization at the convention to execute the Action program to protect working children and to combat and eliminate child labor.[5][6] During his ministry, Murr was appointed acting minister of foreign affairs.[7][better source needed]

In 2004 Murr owned an HSBC account, which was held through a company called Callorford Investments Limited, and by 2006-2007, the account contained USD $42 million, according to the 2015 Swiss Leaks based on the 2007 hacked HSBC account records from whistleblower Hervé Falciani. A spokesman for Murr said his client’s wealth and that of his family is public knowledge, and his family has held accounts in Switzerland since before he was born, adding that: "It is not illegal and it is not suspicious that a Lebanese national opens and holds accounts anywhere." [8] Group Murr’s assets exceed USD 4 billion.[9]

Murr was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense from 2005 and 2008.[7][better source needed]

Murr supports international police cooperation, and served from 2000-2004 as President of the Arab Interior Minister Council, which coordinates internal security and crime fighting among Arab nations.[citation needed]

In 2009, Elias Murr was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister.[citation needed]

In 2010, Murr was a member of the Lebanese National Dialogue committee.[10]

In October 2013, Murr was appointed as the President of the Board of the Interpol Foundation For a Safer world,[11] which aims to strengthen the capabilities of Interpol to fight money laundering, organized crime and financing of terrorism.

Murr took part in many negotiations with the United Nations.[12] and oversaw the deployment of 25,000 soldiers for the implementation of UNSC resolution 1701, preserving the cease fire mandated by the international community.[citation needed] Elias Murr is an honored officer of the National Cedar Legion and the holder of the Grand Cross of the Order of Spain.[7][better source needed]

Assassination attempt[edit]

On 12 July 2005, Murr was targeted by a 200-kg improvised explosive device in the city of Antelias, 5 km north of Beirut. 12 people were injured, and one person was killed by the explosion that almost took the life of the Deputy Prime Minister at the time.[13] Murr said that he knew an attempt on his life had been planned for months, and had informed the state security services.[14]

Business activities[edit]

In parallel with his political endeavors, Murr spent the past twenty years at the helm of "Group Murr", founded in 1957 by his father as a construction company [15] operating in the public works sector.

Group Murr is featured in Forbes' "TOP 100 MAKING AN IMPACT IN THE ARAB WORLD" list.[16]

By 1992, the group implemented projects worth an estimated overall value of US$2 billion, and now[when?] holds more than 25 companies [4] operating across three continents and a wide range of segments of the international market, including: Construction, real estate and resort development, Engineering, Consumer products, Aviation services, Security, Commercial services for the shipping industry.[17]

Murr also serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Al Joumhouria News Corporation[18] the publisher of one of Lebanon’s leading daily newspaper and of several other thematic periodicals.

After stopping publications throughout the Lebanese civil war, under H.E. Murr’s leadership the Al Joumhouria newspaper [5] saw its rebirth in 2011, and became the first Lebanese newspaper to embrace new media, by developing proprietary mobile applications, push notifications, and developing an award-winning website for its digital edition.[19] Murr is also the chairman of the board of Pan Arab News; a website currently under construction, marrying innovation and creativity with use smart technologies to offer its users a unique experience. Pan Arab News will tackle Middle East news as well as the latest events in the Gulf Region.[20]

WikiLeaks accusations[edit]

In December 2010, a Lebanese Newspaper posted on its website cables from WikiLeaks revealing[21][22] that Murr had separated the army from Hezbollah if a new war was to erupt on Israel's northern border.[23] He is quoted as having said:

"Israel would do well to avoid two things when it comes for Hizballah One, it must not touch the Blue Line or the UNSCR 1701 areas as this will keep Hizballah out of these areas. Two, Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas. The Christians were supporting Israel in 2006 until they started bombing their bridges. If Israel has to bomb all of these places in the Shia areas as a matter of operational concern, that is Hizballah's problem."[22][24]

A quote from teh leaked cable: "During the two and a half hours conversation, Murr seemed intent on ensuring the Army stays out of the way so that Hizballah bears the full weight of an Israeli offensive; Murr wanted to spare the army from a war against Israel, as he said in one of the cables: ´´I do not want thousands of our soldiers to die for no reason.´" [25][better source needed]

Personal life[edit]

Elias Murr married Émile Lahoud's daughter Karine in 1992, but they divorced later on.[1][26] Murr has three children, Michel, Maria and Emile.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Abdelnour, Ziad K. (June 2003). "Michel and Elias Murr". Middle East Intelligence Bulletin 5 (6). Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Biography for Elias Murr". SILObreaker. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Elias Murr CV www.elias-murr.com
  4. ^ Ferran Izquierdo Brichs (27 November 2012). Political Regimes in the Arab World: Society and the Exercise of Power. Routledge. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-136-24087-4. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Lebanon to Adopt ILO Project to Stop Child Labor 2 August 2001, Al Bawaba
  6. ^ to Adopt ILO Project to Stop Child Labor. 2 August 2001, lebanonwire.com
  7. ^ a b c Elias Murr CV www.elias-murr.com, undated
  8. ^ Gerard Ryle, Will Fitzgibbon, Mar Cabra, Rigoberto Carvajal, Marina Walker Guevara, Martha M. Hamilton and Tom Stites. Banking Giant HSBC Sheltered Murky Cash Linked to Dictators and Arms Dealers February 8, 2015, International Consortium of Journalists, The Center for Public Integrity
  9. ^ About Group Murr groupmurr.com, undated
  10. ^ List of participants in national dialogue meetings Ya Libnan news, February 28, 2010
  11. ^ Murr appointed head of INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World 22 October 2013
  12. ^ Press release UN, 2006[dead link]
  13. ^ Lebanese minister hit by car bomb 12 July 2005, The Guardian
  14. ^ Targeted Elias Murr tells of attack foretold 13 july 2005, Middle Easrt Online
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/en/lists/people/pname/group-murr-holding/pid/77851/
  17. ^ http://www.groupmurr.com/
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ [3].
  20. ^ http://www.groupmurr.com/media_groups/index/17
  21. ^ "Al Akhbar Newspaper publishes US cables". Ya Libnan. 3 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  22. ^ a b Sison, Michele J. (11 March 2008). "Min Def worried that Hizballah war with Israel imminent". WikiLeaks/Al Akhbar (Lebanon). WikiLeaks cable:08BEIRUT372. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  23. ^ "Lebanon defense minister "offered invasion advice for Israel"". Ha'aretz. 3 December 2010. 
  24. ^ Amiri, Rannie (10 December 2010). "A Damning Wikileaks Revelation - The Story of Elias Murr, Saboteur". CounterPunch. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  25. ^ Wikileaks Shocker: Lebanese Defense Minister Reveals Plan to Stay out of Israel’s Way in Next War Qifa Nabki Blog, DECEMBER 2, 2010
  26. ^ الياس المر.. سياسي مسيحي عمل في ظل سوريا ووالد زوجته لحود Ad Doustour