Patriarch Rai: The Christian- Druze reconciliation is a treasure. Warns against ‘divisive, destructive rhetoric

Patriarch Rai outraged 2Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai on Sunday described the Druze-Christian reconciliation in Chouf and Aley regions of Mt Lebanon as a “treasure,”and  warned against any “divisive”, “destructive”  rhetoric.

“We want to stress that Mt. Lebanon’s reconciliation is the treasure that we hold onto and that it comes before any other consideration, seeing as the country’s safety depends on Mt. Lebanon’s safety,” Rai said.

“We are working and we call for working together to consolidate the pillars of reconciliation politically and realistically and to create job opportunities for everyone so that coexistence gets restored,” the patriarch added.

“Wee also call for endorsing a unifying rather than a divisive political rhetoric, one that would move forward not backwards, that builds rather than destroys, that cooperates rather than excludes, that brings economic and developmental projects instead of repeating empty words and slogans that only serve to agitate,” he  went on to say.

His comments come after Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea slammed on Sunday the rhetoric of Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil.

In an interview with Radio Free Lebanon Geagea said in reference to latest cabinet session that was adjourned after the FPM’s ministers arrived late

“Bassil’s obstruction of the cabinet session to achieve narrow partisan interests is a crime against the country,”

“Political tensions can only dissipate with the end of tense rhetoric and with a black heart, Bassil is taking us 50 years back through his speeches,” Geagea added.

In Kahale Mt Lebanon Bassil reminded the Christians last Sunday  about their suffering in 1840 and in 1960 in their battles against the Druze stressing that in new battles the Christians will have the upper hand . Many Christian leaders attacked his speech as racist, destructive  and divisive specially since  a reconciliation  agreement was declared in 2001 between the Druze and the Christians when the late Patriarch Sfeir visited  Druze leader Walid Jumblatt at his palace in Mukhtara Mt Lebanon in 2001  to declare  the truce.

Following the 2001 reconciliation the Christians  returned to Mt Lebanon and were compensated for the damages to their properties as a result of the 1975-1990 civil war .