Patriarch Rai: Only the state and its institutions can protect the Lebanese


Lebanon patriarch raiChristian Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai insisted on  Sunday that only the state and its institutions can protect the Lebanese.

“We refuse  to receive protection from anyone and only the state, the presidency, the institutions, the army and the security forces can protect us,” al-Rai said during a visit to Rashaya’s mufti Sheikh Ahmed al-Ladan.

The visit was part of the patriarch’s tour of the Bekaa region which he started on Friday.

Al Rai’s  remarks were reportedly in response to MP Michel Aoun’ s  comments on August 8 .

The FPM leader praised his ally Hezbollah and its role inside  Syria and its  borders with Lebanon .

“Had it not been for Hezbollah and its defense of Lebanon, Christians would face the same one as  those of Nineveh in Iraq.” He said in reference to the persecution of minorities at the hand of jihadists.

Al-Rai has repeatedly called for the election of a new president, since the  presidential vacuum has started to cripple the work of the government and the parliament in recent months.

The Lebanese  parliament failed last month and  and for the 26th   time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 last year.

As in the past sessions the  parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the sessions.