Al-Rahi Arrives in Paris: Electoral Draft Law Requires Lebanese Consensus

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi described the Lebanese army on Saturday as Lebanon’s backbone saying the country has no pride or dignity without a strong army.

In remarks at Beirut airport before traveling to Paris on an official visit, al-Rahi said: “The army is Lebanon’s backbone, it is Lebanese pride and honor.”

The patriarch made the remark in response to a question about a campaign launched by al-Mustaqbal movement officials and MPs against the army.

“It is not worth responding” to every individual who attacks the army, he said, adding that the point of view of one person does not represent the entire Lebanese.

No one can attack the sanctity of the army, the presidency, the government, parliament and state institutions, al-Rahi told reporters.

“We appreciate the role of the state and its institutions,” he said.

Al-Rahi also thanked French President Nicolas Sarkozy for inviting him to Paris. The two will meet on Monday.

He told reporters aboard the plane that consensus has been achieved among Christian officials on a new electoral draft law.

“The electoral draft law will be discussed during the broad meeting in Bkirki that will be held on Sept. 23, we want a law that everyone have consensus over and preserves the citizens’ right to elect their (parliamentary) representation,” he stressed

Concerning the dispute in the town of Lassa in the Jbeil district over the issue of construction on church property in the predominately Shiite town, al-Rahi said that the issue is neither political nor religious “it is strictly related to real state.”

“We’re trying to solve the issue and we can reach comprehensive solutions, the issue shouldn’t be giving a political or a religious aspect… the solution would be by agreeing on the issue or through the law,” he said.

He said: “The political disputes can’t stop the country’s development.” Urging officials to differentiate between the personal interests and partisan and the public good.”

The patriarch arrived in Paris on Saturday afternoon.

Comments 8
Default-user-icon Voyager (Guest) 8 years

It is not worth responding to you either. Do you live in a dream world??? What army, what State, and what institutions???? Perhaps, you should lessen your touristic activities and focus on protecting Christian rights that are quickly being eroded.

Default-user-icon may 7 (Guest) 8 years

did we have an army on May 7

Default-user-icon Le PheneChien (Guest) 8 years

@Voyager: Respect your elders. The real problem is as followed: M14 are pro 27 or 30 nations worldwide and are welcomed to make a good living anywhere, Hizbo and the axis of evil(Iran/Syria) are banned (no Visas) and remain in the country enjoy Zawaj EL Mot3a and are outnumbered now. Therefore we need a new electoral system with the help of those 30 nations to allow the M14 immigrants to vote for real/clean politicians

Default-user-icon marie (Guest) 8 years

Unfortunately this is part of our problem, religious leaders get involved in politics! His business is religion and keep it this way in a true democracy.

Thumb ado.australia 8 years

Thanks voyager for your concern about christain rights! The patriarch is doing a lot for christain rights. Starting with unity!
What Army? You will know of this army when they come to arrest your party members for constantly trying to incite sectarian war.

Default-user-icon may 7 (Guest) 8 years

was there an Army in place on may7

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 8 years

that is basically a very positive stance.
after mufti qabbani supported the army,,and sheikh qabalan,and now rahi....it seems that our religious moguls are back on track...hope they dont change their mind, and my dearest hope that they have the same conception of aljaysh..
at least samer hanna will be smiling now.

Default-user-icon may 7 (Guest) 8 years

army on may 7 ??????