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BEIRUT: Lebanon’s top Christian spiritual leader Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai renewed Sunday his call for Lebanon neutrality , called on the State to put an end to “the proliferation of weapons and demanded that “all weapons must be brought under the control of the army .

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai renewed Sunday his call for Lebanon neutrality , called on the State to put an end to “the proliferation of weapons and demanded that “all weapons must be brought under the control of the army and for war and Peace decisions to b taken by the cabinet

“The decision to declare war and peace belongs to Cabinet and its two thirds of votes, according to Article 65 of the Constitution. No one else has the right to control that, for the sake of preserving the lives of citizens, civil peace and domestic security,” the patriarch added during his Sunday mass sermon

He also demanded that the formation of an emergency government, reduced in size and with the necessary powers to enact far-reaching reforms. 

During his Sunday sermon, Rai referred to the victims of the Beirut Port explosion and the “suffering of the people” as the basis on which a “new state is born with a system of active neutrality.”

Rai’ has been calling for several weeks for implementing Lebanon’s policy of disassociation from regional conflicts stressing that only through active neutrality political disaster , such as civil war or territorial disintegration. could be averted in Lebanon

He repeated his call for for the need to replace officials with “new faces who are not tainted with corruption,” and rejected the culture of backdoor deal-making at the expense of the Lebanese entity. 

Rai’s remarks come a day before the date set by Lebanese President Michel Aoun to consult with parliamentary groups over the designation of a new PM, to replace PM Diab whose cabinet collapsed following the Aug 4 explosions .

Hezbollah is the only militia that was allowed by the Syrian regime to keep its arms in Lebanon at the end of the ( 1975-1990) civil war . The Syrian army was occupying Lebanon at the time .

Hezbollah was created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 1982 as part of its Quds Force with the aim of resisting against the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon . Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000 but Hezbollah kept its arms and has become stronger than the Lebanese army. Iran has been for the last 20 years using Hezbollah as its proxy force to fight wherever ( Iran) wants to increase its influence , such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

In Lebanon Hezbollah has assumed the role of protecting the status quo ( the corrupt political class) and has been making the war and peace decisions . Has been actively participating in the regionals wars of Syria, Iraq and Yemen despite Lebanon’s dissociation policy and in 2006 it fought a 34 day war with Israel in which 1200 Lebanese mainly civilians were killed and over 1 million Lebanese mainly Shiites were displaced and about 160 Israelis mainly military were killed . The war devastated Lebanon’s infrastructure. The neighboring Arab Gulf countries Saudi Arabia, Kuwait , Qatar and UAE ended up footing the bill for rebuilding what was damaged during the war .

In May 2008 Hezbollah pointed its guns against the Lebanese people , occupied the western part of Beirut but tried and failed to occupy Mt Lebanon and ever since it has been using the power of its arms to exert influence in Lebanon. Today Hezbollah controls all the 3 branches of government thru its allies ; the parliament thru its speaker Nabih Berri , the cabinet thru PM Diab and the presidency thru president Michel Aoun .

According to observers , Hezbollah is Lebanon’s number one liability and is the main reason Lebanon has become a failed state, politically and economically

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