File photo: A huge rally in Bkirki in support of Patriarch Rai’s neutrality calls. “No right shall be wasted. I understand your pain and anger well. I understand your revolt. Do not stay silent about politicizing the judiciary. Do not stay silent about illegal arms. Do not stay silent about innocents kept in prisons, or the naturalization of Palestinians. Do not stay silent about the coup against the state and system. Do not stay silent about the delayed government formation, or about reforms or our martyrs. .” Rai told the people at the rally on March 2021

Commenting on president Michel Aoun’s call for national dialogue Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai on Saturday said such talks should be sponsored bu the United Nations

“This is how Lebanon would provide the appropriate atmosphere to launch in the future a national dialogue sponsored by the U.N., as part of an international conference that would give dialogue a U.N. guarantee and an executive mechanism,” the patriarch added.

He explained that “the domestic dialogues, which we had always welcomed and supported, remained without implementation, and some participating parties disavowed them.”

He is referring to Lebanon’s Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group which reneged twice on key national dialogue agreements . In 2006 it reneged by launching a 34 day war against Israel which resulted in the death of over 1200 Lebanese mainly civilians and in the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure and in 2013 it reneged when it sent its fighters to Syria to fight alongside the forces of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad in a war that killed about 500,000 people, mainly civilians despite the national dialogue agreement which called for non- interference in regional conflicts. Over 2 million Syrians fled to Lebanon as a result of there war in Syria and a large majority of those remained as refugees in Lebanon .

He added : “What also necessitates an international conference is that some aspects of the Lebanese crisis are related to regional and international issues, such as the fate of Palestinian refugees, the return of displaced Syrians and the settling of the border and security disputes with Israel.”

Commenting on the decrees that set the date for the upcoming elections , he said in his New Year’s Day sermon.

“We laud the promising preliminary step that was taken by the President, the Prime Minister and the Interior Minister to set the date of the parliamentary elections and sign the decree of organizing them”

He added that “should there be good intentions, the remaining period would be enough to revive governmental work, finish talks with international financial institutions, control the border, repair ties with Gulf nations topped by KSA, and to rectify Lebanon’s position.”

Lebanon would then “move from alignment to neutrality and from the policy of axes to the policy of balance,” he said, in reference to Iran’s alliance with Iran and Syria

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