Beirut, Christian and Muslim leaders call for a government of national unity

In a joint statement, the leaders of the main communities accuse the ruling class of "toying with the fate of the nation". Ecclesiastical sources report the approval of the Maronite patriarch and the main Shiite and Sunni leaders. The attack on those who "slow down any attempt at reconciliation".

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Lebanese Christian and Muslim religious leaders yesterday launched a joint appeal for the salvation of the country, in the face of an escalation of the political, economic, social and health crisis. Addressing the political and ruling class the leaders of the main communities’ write "stop toying with the destiny of the nation."

In a statement released at the end of an intense round of telephone consultations, the Christian and Muslim leaders of Lebanon in particular ask for "the immediate formation of a government of national resolve", which "does not take into account personal and sectarian calculations, nor traditional dividing of the spoils among political parties” which is only “a harbinger of blackmail”.

At a time when the "collapse" of the country seems to "accelerate" with the accompanying "dangers for the future", "conflicts between political personalities persist" that "slow down any attempt at reconciliation" from within or without. These behaviours, the reflection continues, are "diametrically opposed" to a responsible management of power and the "duty of loyalty" to the people.

In mid-October, Aoun tasked three-time Prime Minister Rafic Hariri with putting together a new cabinet. The crisis of the last year is but one of the many difficulties affecting Lebanon’s political and economic life, as well as its very political institutions.

The already precarious situation has worsened with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the two explosions that rocked the port of Beirut in August, finally pushing 55 per cent of the population below the poverty line amid a permanent emergency.

The extreme instability has triggered a spike in suicides and a rush to buy the few remaining drugs, whilst hospitals are in catastrophic conditions.

The Christian and Muslim religious leaders assure that their appeal, which bears no signatures, is launched "with one voice" on a national scale. According to a well-informed ecclesiastical source, the text is approved by the Maronite patriarch Card Beshara Raï and by the main Muslim, Sunni and Shiite religious leaders. The promoters agree on a series of principles, first and foremost "the immediate formation" of a national executive and to prioritize the needs of the people, preserve civil peace and the values ​​of coexistence, remain faithful to the Constitution and right.

Silence "is no longer an option" concludes the appeal of Christian and Muslim leaders, who addressing the ruling class affirm: "Stop toying with the destiny of the nation" because "neither the people nor history will forgive you”.

Finally, yesterday the president of the Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan, warned against "a reckless political discourse that leads the country to the abyss". He invoked protection over the nation and called for unity, because "the solution to the current Lebanese crisis must come from within" since "foreign forces are not charities and will not safeguard the interests of either Lebanon or her children".