» 05/03/2007, 00.00
LEBANON – VATICAN
Sfeir brings concerns about his country’s future to the Vatican
Maronite Patriarch is increasingly worried about the institutional deadlock caused by the country’s political crisis, but especially by the increasingly bitter divisions within the Christian community. The synod of Maronite bishops will take place in a few weeks.
Bishops act to end divisions between Maronite political leaders
The initiative comes following the release of a statement last month highlighting the crisis within the Maronite community and offering some suggestions as to how to solve it. A bishops’ commission met Michel Aoun this morning and will meet Suleiman Frangieh and Samir Geagea later in the day.
Maronite bishops urge Christian leaders to reconcile
A special commission is expected to meet Christian political leaders, currently split between majority and opposition. Arab League secretary general should renew his mediation efforts, but the opposition no longer wants a national unity government; instead, it is demanding early elections.
Tense calm in Beirut after general strike suspended
The final death tally from yesterday’s clashes is still unknown. Prime minister arrives in Paris for donors’ conference. Clashes between Christians are worrisome, provoke rebuke by Patriarch Sfeir.
International pressures and internal divisions mark Lebanon’s elections
Two groupings are trying to win: the March 14 alliance backed by the West and Sunni Arab countries and the March 8 coalition backed by Syria and Iran. Whichever side wins, the impact will be felt across the Middle East. At the same time, both groupings lack internal coherence.
Commemorating Rafik Hariri’s death, demanding answers from March 14 leaders
More than 100,000 people gather to commemorate the death of former PM Hariri. Speaking to the crowds, leaders reiterate in measured tones the alliance’s goals. However, banners appear, asking, “What have you with my vote?”
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