Rai: Obama vowed to protect Lebanon from aggressions


patriarch-rai-def-4Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Beshara Boutros al-Rai said Thursday that during his meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House   the latter promised to ensure that Lebanon is protected from the repercussions of regional events.

Rai who   is  in the US capital as a member of  a delegation of   Middle Eastern  Christian Patriarchs  to attend a three-day conference organized by the In Defense of Christians organization  told LBC television that Obama stressed during his meeting with them  that he wants to “support the region and minorities through a plan he is working on.”

The Patriarch quoted Obama as highlighting “the necessity of Christians’ return to their towns and villages.”

Earlier in the evening the delegation met  Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice  and handed out  a memorandum dealing with Christians’ status in the middle east and what they are facing against the terrorist groups.

Rai also  said he discussed with U.S. President Barack Obama the issues of the presidency and supporting the Lebanese army, as the American leader stressed the importance of deterring the terrorist threat against Lebanon.

 National News Agency reported that  the meeting with Obama lasted 35 minutes.

delegation of eastern patriarchs
A Delegation of Middle Eastern Christian Patriarchs in Washington DC

NNA added that  the American leader underlined to the delegation the importance of supporting the army so that it can “rein in terrorism and prevent it from infiltrating Lebanon.”

Obama also called on the Lebanese to reach an agreement over a new president, according to NNA.

Earlier on Thursday, the delegation  discussed with U.S. congressmen the condition of Middle East Christians and their displacement at the hands of terrorist organizations.

“The persecution of Christians is a reality,” Rai said during the meeting.

He pointed out that “the painful situation is mired by the silence of the world.”

On Wednesday, Rai called on the U.S. to take a more prominent stance and further steps to safeguard Christians, who are being assaulted and displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant  (ISIL) and other terrorist organizations.

Al-Rahi stressed that the “orient is the land of Christians, who are being threatened with extinction.”

“No one has the right to leave humans suffer as if we’re back to the stone age,” the Patriarch was quoted as saying

“Can no one stop this crawling monster that is intimidating people?” Rai wondered.

“The world is responsible for preventing terrorist organizations and returning those who were displaced to their regions and protecting them,” Rai said.