Bkerke (AsiaNews) – Lebanese politicians have left the country in a state of paralysis with officials fighting over governmental positions, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai said Tuesday after his daily meetings at the patriarchal see.
“I regret that politics has brought us to the position we are in today of a governmental, economic, tourism, and trade crisis along with a complete halt to constitutional institutions,” he said.
Lebanon has been deadlocked for the past four months because of Hizbollah’s demand for key ministries as a precondition in participating in a government of national unity.
Hizbollah and some Christian politicians like former General Michel Aoun are part of the “8 March” alliance.
The “14 March” alliance is the main opposition. It demands Hizbollah surrender its weapons to join the government.
Hizbollah is the only group with its own armed wing, ostensibly to free Palestine and fight Israel.
“All of us, Muslim and Christian Lebanese, are looking forward to building a country that we inherited from our grandfathers,” the patriarch said, a country “dubbed as a country with a message” as John Paul II called it, with an important vocation for equality, respect and participation.
Beshara Rahi also wants to reduce tensions among Christian politicians. For this reason, he met on 19 April various Christian leaders from opposite groups: Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel and the head of the Marada Movement Sleiman Franjieh
During the meeting (pictured), described as cordial, the Patriarch focused on the serious problems affecting Lebanon’s Christians, namely emigration, economic crisis, job opportunity in the public sector, and the reduction of large-scale property and land sales to non-Christians.
The next meeting is scheduled for 2 June.