Bkirki meeting: Yes, they shook hands

As anticipated a meeting was held between the country’s top Christian officials in Bkirki on Tuesday . The meeting was described as “brotherly and patriotic par excellence,” according to  a statement released by the patriarchate after the talks.

“The meeting was brotherly and patriotic above all. An atmosphere of love and brotherhood prevailed,” the statement said.

Yes there was a handshake !

There may be other such meetings in the future, the statement added without specifying any dates.

The statement stressed the need to preserve the country’s unity and basic interests.

The meeting was chaired by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rai and addressed the general situation in the country, according to the statement

Bkirki meeting : Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was facing Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh and Former Lebanese president and current Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel was facing Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Former Lebanese president and current  Phalange  Party leader Amin Gemayel, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh all took part in the meeting and all joined the Patriarch for prayers at 9:00 am before the meeting.

The talks were held away from the media spotlight. Journalists and reporters were prevented from entering the patriarchate’s premises when the officials arrived in the morning.

The talks were followed by a lunch banquet hosted  by the patriarch in the honor of his guests. Former Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir was also present at the luncheon.

During the weekend the newly elected Patriarch said that the meeting will be spiritual and will not discuss political issues . An Nahar newspaper reported Tuesday that discussions would focus on general issues, and mainly Christian issues such as rejection to naturalize Palestinians, the voting of expatriates, decentralization, the election laws, corruption and the Christian presence in state institutions.

Geagea and Gemayel support the western backed  March 14 alliance, while Aoun and Franjieh support the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance.

Geagea said on Monday that he wouldn’t hesitate to shake hands with his foes Aoun and Franjieh. The LF leader made good on his promises and shook hands with the two men ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.

“We shook hands and talked too,” Franjieh confirmed to reporters after the meeting.

Aoun told reporters that each two persons disagreeing with each other were seated facing each other.

Journalists were later allowed to go in to take photos of the conferees. Television footage showed them sitting at a rectangular table chaired by al-Rahi. Aoun, Franjieh, and Bishops Boulos Matar and Samir Mazloum set on one side. While Gemayel, Geagea, and Bishops Roland Abou Jaoudeh and Youssef Beshara at the other.

  • kareemthehippy

    Big deal. Even if they shook hands, it doesn’t promise anything for later. Also, this is just another example of how stupid we are. I think all the religious leaders should get together, with all the politicians of all different sects, THEN SHAKE HANDS. Ah, one day. I only dream.

  • Anonymous

    Big deal. Even if they shook hands, it doesn’t promise anything for later. Also, this is just another example of how stupid we are. I think all the religious leaders should get together, with all the politicians of all different sects, THEN SHAKE HANDS. Ah, one day. I only dream.

  • Anonymous

    Big deal. Even if they shook hands, it doesn’t promise anything for later. Also, this is just another example of how stupid we are. I think all the religious leaders should get together, with all the politicians of all different sects, THEN SHAKE HANDS. Ah, one day. I only dream.

  • J J

    We are so intelligent, yet still so tribal in our ways and thoughts. Isn’t it cynical that we always state the name of our village, religion, political party before we even say that we are Lebanese. It is about bloody time we all put Lebanon first! We are all Lebanese, that is what matters the most! Religion, political party and village all come secondary. BE PROUD TO BE LEBANESE! Good on you guys for being brave and taking a big step forward!

  • J J

    We are so intelligent, yet still so tribal in our ways and thoughts. Isn’t it cynical that we always state the name of our village, religion, political party before we even say that we are Lebanese. It is about bloody time we all put Lebanon first! We are all Lebanese, that is what matters the most! Religion, political party and village all come secondary. BE PROUD TO BE LEBANESE! Good on you guys for being brave and taking a big step forward!

  • PROPHET.T

    Nice Photo Op. The patriarch deserves credit still.It is unfortunate that all of these “LEADERS” had to be persuaded through head of the church to hold such a meeting,and shake hands, when they could have done it on their own. I just hope that Patriarch Al-Rai would refrain from involving himself and the church in the details of local politics.That should go for all religious leaders of all sects in Lebanon. It is about time to separate religion and religion institutions from Lebanese politics. A true separation of state and religion is a must, if Lebanon ever to become a functioning state.

  • PROPHET.T

    Nice Photo Op. The patriarch deserves credit still.It is unfortunate that all of these leaders had to be persuaded through the church to hold such a meeting when they could have done it on their own. I just hope that Patriarch Al-Rai would refrain from involving himself and the church in the details of local politics.That should go for all religious leaders of all sects in Lebanon. It is about time to separate religion and religion institutions from Lebanese politics. A true separation of state and religion is a must, if Lebanon ever to become a functioning state.

  • libnan1

    Great job Patriarch El-Rai, I hope that the Christian leaders would nominate Aoun to represent the Christians and the Muslims leaders nominate Hassan Nasralah to represent all the Muslims. Then the two leaders form a government that represent all of the Lebanon. A government that does not have political associations but at the same time represents all sects.

    • PROPHET.T

      libnan1, you are asking for trouble at this page by your suggestion.lol
      You must get a kick out of these exchanges,lol

      • libnan1

        I like debate. The only way you can stimulate debate among Lebanese is by having bold realistic ideas. The reality on the ground is the fact that these are the true leaders that can make a difference.

        • PROPHET.T

          True, but I’m tired of all the insults and rudeness that is served with debating on this page,lol
          I keep my contribution to a minimum,lol

        • PROPHET.T

          True, but I’m tired of all the insults and rudeness that is served with debating on this page,lol
          I keep my contribution to a minimum,lol

        • libnan1 and prophet,

          2 of the posters that i really respect on this site, i like ur style
          libnan1, you got balls and ur absolutly correct in what your saying bout
          stimulating a debate,if we all agreed that would be boring,and prophet brother
          how are u man, i read earlier u said u had something going on,inshallah khier
          and all is well brother,if u need anything email me bro…also what you said prophet
          is true,the insults on here are so bad,today is perfect example,if the leaders that
          the posters on here defend can sit together and talk,why cant we? we all need
          to make changes,and ill be the first to say start with me,,,and i will also say if i
          have offended anyone with insults or negative comments that crossed the line,please
          except my apology…

        • libnan1 and prophet,

          2 of the posters that i really respect on this site, i like ur style
          libnan1, you got balls and ur absolutly correct in what your saying bout
          stimulating a debate,if we all agreed that would be boring,and prophet brother
          how are u man, i read earlier u said u had something going on,inshallah khier
          and all is well brother,if u need anything email me bro…also what you said prophet
          is true,the insults on here are so bad,today is perfect example,if the leaders that
          the posters on here defend can sit together and talk,why cant we? we all need
          to make changes,and ill be the first to say start with me,,,and i will also say if i
          have offended anyone with insults or negative comments that crossed the line,please
          except my apology…

      • PROPHET.T

        Michael,
        Thanks for the kind words. I always encourage posters to be respectful while debating, yet few of them tend to be very rude. Again, Lebanese leave Lebanon,and bring along all of their complication,lol
        Yes I’m going through a domestic crises, and hoping that it ends up well.Will do whatever it takes to make it right. It will be fine.
        I sent you a yahoo invitation link from camou222.

    • Beiruti

      Your such a filthy guy for saying Aoun should represent “ALL” Christians and Nasrallah should represent “ALL” Muslims. Your a little sissy hiding behind the internet and trying to provoke people by saying the most ignorant garbage. How can Nasrallah respresent ALL Muslims please i dont think one Sunni like this Caveman. Aoun respresting Christians? He should thank God every night he wasn’t killed already the man should be in France in exile. Your comments throughout this whole website have no common sense and they are based on zereo facts. Stop provoking people and go back in your cave where you belong.

      • libnan1

        Thanks for the nice filthy words. I’m not hiding behind the internet, we can arrange to meet if you like.
        I’m suggesting something I think will solve lots of issues. I strongly believe that M14 should accept the fact, why not M8 form the government and see what happens. I’m sure you will be critical, that will be OK. As Powell said before “you break it, you own it”. Let’s all wait to see M8 actions. Lebanon will be a good place, 20 years of M14 governing without any improvement is enough. I’m sure the next 20 years of M8 governing will show a definite progress.
        We might end up with drivable roads, electricity and water similar to what Syria and Iran have.

  • libnan1

    Great job Patriarch El-Rai, I hope that the Christian leaders would nominate Aoun to represent the Christians and the Muslims leaders nominate Hassan Nasralah to represent all the Muslims. Then the two leaders form a government that represent all of the Lebanon. A government that does not have political associations but at the same time represents all sects.

    • Beiruti

      Your such a filthy guy for saying Aoun should represent “ALL” Christians and Nasrallah should represent “ALL” Muslims. Your a little sissy hiding behind the internet and trying to provoke people by saying the most ignorant garbage. How can Nasrallah respresent ALL Muslims please i dont think one Sunni like this Caveman. Aoun respresting Christians? He should thank God every night he wasn’t killed already the man should be in France in exile. Your comments throughout this whole website have no common sense and they are based on zereo facts. Stop provoking people and go back in your cave where you belong.

      • libnan1

        Thanks for the nice filthy words. I’m not hiding behind the internet, we can arrange to meet if you like.
        I’m suggesting something I think will solve lots of issues. I strongly believe that M14 should accept the fact, why not M8 form the government and see what happens. I’m sure you will be critical, that will be OK. As Powell said before “you break it, you own it”. Let’s all wait to see M8 actions. Lebanon will be a good place, 20 years of M14 governing without any improvement is enough. I’m sure the next 20 years of M8 governing will show a definite progress.
        We might end up with drivable roads, electricity and water similar to what Syria and Iran have.

  • Anonymous

    Great job Patriarch El-Rai, I hope that the Christian leaders would nominate Aoun to represent the Christians and the Muslims leaders nominate Hassan Nasralah to represent all the Muslims. Then the two leaders form a government that represent all of the Lebanon. A government that does not have political associations but at the same time represents all sects.

    • PROPHET.T

      libnan1, you are asking for trouble at this page by your suggestion.lol
      You must get a kick out of these exchanges,lol

      • Anonymous

        I like debate. The only way you can stimulate debate among Lebanese is by having bold realistic ideas. The reality on the ground is the fact that these are the true leaders that can make a difference.

        • PROPHET.T

          True, but I’m tired of all the insults and rudeness that is served with debating on this page,lol
          I keep my contribution to a minimum,lol

        • libnan1 and prophet,

          2 of the posters that i really respect on this site, i like ur style
          libnan1, you got balls and ur absolutly correct in what your saying bout
          stimulating a debate,if we all agreed that would be boring,and prophet brother
          how are u man, i read earlier u said u had something going on,inshallah khier
          and all is well brother,if u need anything email me bro…also what you said prophet
          is true,the insults on here are so bad,today is perfect example,if the leaders that
          the posters on here defend can sit together and talk,why cant we? we all need
          to make changes,and ill be the first to say start with me,,,and i will also say if i
          have offended anyone with insults or negative comments that crossed the line,please
          except my apology…

      • PROPHET.T

        Michael,
        Thanks for the kind words. I always encourage posters to be respectful while debating, yet few of them tend to be very rude. Again, Lebanese leave Lebanon,and bring along all of their complication,lol
        Yes I’m going through a domestic crises, and hoping that it ends up well.Will do whatever it takes to make it right. It will be fine.
        I sent you a yahoo invitation link from camou222.

    • PROPHET.T

      libnan1, you are asking for trouble at this page by your suggestion.lol
      You must get a kick out of these exchanges,lol

    • Anonymous

      Your such a filthy guy for saying Aoun should represent “ALL” Christians and Nasrallah should represent “ALL” Muslims. Your a little sissy hiding behind the internet and trying to provoke people by saying the most ignorant garbage. How can Nasrallah respresent ALL Muslims please i dont think one Sunni like this Caveman. Aoun respresting Christians? He should thank God every night he wasn’t killed already the man should be in France in exile. Your comments throughout this whole website have no common sense and they are based on zereo facts. Stop provoking people and go back in your cave where you belong.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the nice filthy words. I’m not hiding behind the internet, we can arrange to meet if you like.
        I’m suggesting something I think will solve lots of issues. I strongly believe that M14 should accept the fact, why not M8 form the government and see what happens. I’m sure you will be critical, that will be OK. As Powell said before “you break it, you own it”. Let’s all wait to see M8 actions. Lebanon will be a good place, 20 years of M14 governing without any improvement is enough. I’m sure the next 20 years of M8 governing will show a definite progress.
        We might end up with drivable roads, electricity and water similar to what Syria and Iran have.

    • Anonymous

      Your such a filthy guy for saying Aoun should represent “ALL” Christians and Nasrallah should represent “ALL” Muslims. Your a little sissy hiding behind the internet and trying to provoke people by saying the most ignorant garbage. How can Nasrallah respresent ALL Muslims please i dont think one Sunni like this Caveman. Aoun respresting Christians? He should thank God every night he wasn’t killed already the man should be in France in exile. Your comments throughout this whole website have no common sense and they are based on zereo facts. Stop provoking people and go back in your cave where you belong.

  • Constantin7

    Excellent initiative from El-Rai, hopefully it will be the first out of many coming meetings. These meetings cannot be but good to the Christians and to Lebanon. After all these leaders have a lot in common, only Syria divides them. With the regime change in Syria I am expecting them to become closer…Inchallah!

    • Constantin7,

      Im just curious bro by “closer” do you think aoun and franjieh will cut there ties from HA,and join 14 azar?

  • Anonymous

    Excellent initiative from El-Rai, hopefully it will be the first out of many coming meetings. These meetings cannot be but good to the Christians and to Lebanon. After all these leaders have a lot in common, only Syria divides them. With the regime change in Syria I am expecting them to become closer…Inchallah!

    • Constantin7,

      Im just curious bro by “closer” do you think aoun and franjieh will cut there ties from HA,and join 14 azar?

  • Anonymous

    Excellent initiative from El-Rai, hopefully it will be the first out of many coming meetings. These meetings cannot be but good to the Christians and to Lebanon. After all these leaders have a lot in common, only Syria divides them. With the regime change in Syria I am expecting them to become closer…Inchallah!