Report: Al-Rahi Rejects to Meet with Pietton Unless he Apologizes
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is demanding an apology from French Ambassador Denis Pietton before setting a date to meet with him, Bkirki sources told the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa daily on Tuesday.
“Al-Rahi will not set a date for a meeting with Ambassador Denis Pietton if the latter decides to meet him,” the sources said.
The patriarch rejects the ambassador’s criticism of al-Rahi’s statements on Hizbullah’s arms and the situation in Syria and “will not meet him unless he makes an apology and provides an explanation on his remarks about French disappointment” from the prelate, they added.
Last week, Pietton said his government was “disappointed” by al-Rahi’s remarks and said he would soon visit the patriarch as ordered by his government to seek clarifications.
During his visit to Paris, al-Rahi said Syrian President Bashar Assad should be given the chance to introduce reform over his fear that the collapse of the regime would lead to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Syria. This would constitute a threat to Christians in the region.
Al-Rahi also linked the fate of Hizbullah’s weapons to the liberation of the remaining Israeli-occupied Lebanese territories.