4 September, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/30/2010
LEBANON - VATICAN
Maronite Patriarchate warns of “tension rising” to the point of conflict in Lebanon
by Fady Noun
There is a growing conflict between Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Hezbollah because the UN tribunal allegations that - they say - condemn Hezbollah for having contributed to the assassination of Rafik Hariri. The bishops are preparing to go to Rome for the Synod of the Middle East, but a war between Sunnis and Shiites is feared.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - The Maronite Patriarchate has warned the whole country against "rising tension" that rages between the majority and Hezbollah which could erupt into street clashes.

The Maronite Church warning is contained in the communiqué from the monthly meeting of the Assembly of Maronite Bishops, gathered under the chairmanship of the card. Nasrallah Sfeir.

"The bishops - says the statement - have reviewed the situation in Lebanon. They are seriously alarmed by the growing tension between the different factions of the country, which threatens to turn into a community war”.

The alarm comes as the gap between the majority – led of course by Prime Minister Saad Hariri - and Hezbollah widens. Two days ago, on behalf of Hezbollah, Ghaleb Abu Zainab, from the Hezbollah Political Council, said that he opposes Lebanon's financing of the UN tribunal in charge of the investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, with Beirut covering 49% of its costs.

His position directly contradicts that of the Prime Minister, who yesterday said that it is important "not to forget the blood of the martyr Rafik Hariri."

The internal crisis has revolved around the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (TSL) for weeks now. Hezbollah accuses the TSL of being "in the pay of Israel" and fear that the TSL will accuse them of being implicated in the murder, an eventuality that was never openly expressed nor confirmed by the court, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

This possibility raises fears of the worst. The Maronite MP Sleiman Frangieh, a personal friend of Syrian President Bashar el-Assad last week warned that an indictment of Hezbollah would mean war between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon.

For his part, Walid Mouallem, Syrian Foreign Minister, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal said: "We believe that a condemnation of Hezbollah by the TSL will be a major factor in the problems in Lebanon."

The tension is rising just as most of the country's Catholic bishops are preparing to travel to Rome to participate in the work of the Synod of the Churches of the Middle East, due to be held at the Vatican October 10 to 24.

In diplomatic circles it is rumoured that the indictment of the tribunal will be released "later this year." Will peace in Lebanon resist until then? Any conflict would mean that the umbrella policy provided by Syria and Saudi Arabia to Lebanon has been destroyed. Is that possible? Could Hezbollah be bluffing? These are the questions that nearly all Lebanese are asking themselves, but so far no answers have been found.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/02/2006 LEBANON
Bishops condemn "confusion" reigning in Lebanon
by Youssef Hourany
01/04/2007 LEBANON
Maronite bishops say new solutions needed to end crisis
by Paul Dakiki
05/16/2007 LEBANON
Sfeir and the USA strive for a peaceful succession to president Lahoud
by Youssef Hourani
05/03/2007 LEBANON – VATICAN
Sfeir brings concerns about his country’s future to the Vatican
by Youssef Hourani
03/12/2007 LEBANON
Patriarch and bishops offer their help to end the political crises
by Youssef Hourany

Editor's choices
INDIA
Card. Toppo: Learning to take care of the earth and its inhabitants from India’s tribals
by Nirmala CarvalhoThe Archbishop of Ranchi, speaks to AsiaNews ahead of the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation (1 September). The nation is home to "more than one million tribal Catholic, and in our culture we respect nature and will celebrate its gifts." Today "to be true witnesses of Christ, we must respond to the ecological crisis through a deep spiritual conversion."
VATICAN - IRAQ
Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.