Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, met this morning in Al-Diman with a “Strong Republic” Bloc delegation, commissioned by Lebanese Forces Party Chief Samir Geagea, including MP’s Wehbi Qatisha, Shawki Daccash and Antoine Habshi, as well as the Head of LF’s Bureau for Communication with Spiritual Leaders Tony Mourad and Bureau Member Jean-Claude Saab.


The tripartite initiative launched by the Patriarch, which represents a rescue solution for Lebanon, was at center of discussions during the meeting.


On emerging, MP Habshi spoke on behalf of the delegation, saying: “We came today to visit His Beatitude in wake of the neutrality initiative he has put forth, especially since the concept of neutrality is being given different interpretations which do not reflect its simple content.”


He added: “Our Patriarch has clarified that neutrality is based on three pillars, the first being neutrality itself, whereby Lebanon, ever since its foundation, has been established through national agreement on neutrality to be a place for convergence and not conflicts…We believe that with the guarantee of neutrality, Lebanon can fulfill its mission and, as our Patriarch said, refrain from engaging in any conflicts with the surrounding nor enter into problems or wars, since Lebanon, being a land for convergence and dialogue, must be immune from these conflicts in order to be able to unite in the event of disagreements, and this message cannot be carried out by Lebanon unless there is a strong state…and His Beatitude spoke clearly about the Lebanese sovereignty and legitimacy.”


“In order to have a strong state, its sovereignty and legitimacy must be intact; thus enabling it to maintain its strength, face any challenge and defend any encroachment on its sovereignty, and embrace all its citizens…At that instant, said state can carry out all the necessary steps to resolve its pending issues, such as the armed Palestinian presence, the Syrian displacement, and others, because the strong state protects everyone and defends its sovereignty in the face of every aggressor,” Habshi underlined.


“The most important thing is that when the state is neutral, Lebanon will not be exposed to the economic, financial, monetary and social crises it is facing today due to its lack of neutrality,” the MP maintained.


“We must grab this initiative by the Patriarch, and stand together as Lebanese and help each other in reaching Lebanon’s neutrality and sparing the country all the problems and socio-economic conditions it is witnessing today,” Habshi asserted.


He concluded by reiterating that “when we call for a strong state and neutrality from all conflicts, this means that only the state decides on peace and war, and it is the one that legitimately controls all its territories at home and on its borders.”


Source: National News Agency

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