Patriarch Raï: Baabda talks produce national document to save the country

The summit opened by the president on 25 June is an opportunity to find a "united position" on Lebanon's problems. The goal is to protect the Constitution, national unity and public interest. The cardinal hopes for massive participation, but some parties and leaders already threaten to boycott.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The meeting open to all parties launched by President Michel Aoun in Baabda on June 25 must create a "national document" and a "univocal position" in the face of the country's serious problems.

These were the sentiments expressed by Maronite patriarch Card. Beshara Raï, in his Sunday homily which has become a traditional moment to take stock of the nation's political and institutional situation. The president called the head of state's initiative "a national duty" dictated "by conscience" to "protect the Constitution", "the unity of people and the public interest".

He called on participants to “address the core of the problem and propose a real solution, without reticence, settlements or bargaining,” the patriarch said the meeting should produce “a national document that would be at the level of the current dangerous events.” He said such a documents should “devise a firm roadmap including a unified stance on the issues that led to political, financial, economic and social collapse as well as to security and military threats.”

Concerns concern the escalation of anti-government protests in recent weeks, exacerbated by the hyper-devaluation of the currency and by the worst economic crisis for decades, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently the cardinal had attacked the factions (among other Amad and Hezbollah, even without mentioning them), which fuel "chaos and revolt".

The talks launched by President Aoun must therefore be an opportunity to trace the future governance of the nation, launch reforms and restore the country's position and role in the Arab world. According to Card Raï, the participants will have to "underline the unity and neutrality" of Lebanon, favor administrative decentralization, preserve the legitimate authority of the state and guarantee security. Addressing political leaders, he finally stressed that the young demonstrators on the streets wanted the Baabda meeting to provide answers to their "needs, concerns, fears for the future and fate of the nation".