03/04/2021, 09.47
LEBANON
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Chaldeans join Patriarch Raï in call for an international conference on Lebanon

by Fady Noun

The Maronite bishops attack the "burning failure" of the country's political and ruling class. Backing for Card. Raï’s proposal of a summit under the auspices of the UN. Partisan rivalries risk leading to division.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - The Maronite bishops are once again attacking what they call a "burning failure" of the political and ruling class. The prelates say that recent demonstrations in response to the collapse of the local currency and rising inflation, show once again the extent of the economic and financial drama in which the nation has been plunged. They support the proposal put forward by the patriarch, Card. Beshara Raï for an international conference under the aegis of the UN.

And now the Chaldeans too are backing it, as our AsiaNews expert explains in this analysis.

The High Council of the Chaldean community in Lebanon published a statement in support of the positions proclaimed by the Maronite patriarch last February 27, during the last assembly of bishops in Bkerké. Gathered under the presidency of Msgr. Michel Kassarji, in the presence of Msgr. Antoine Hakim, of Msgr. Raphael Traboulsi, episcopal vicar and members of the Superior Council, the communiqué welcomes the "principle of Lebanese neutrality" as reiterated in Bkerké, and "as defined by political science".

The Chaldean Council also recalled that the international conferences on Lebanon are certainly not a novelty, but date back to 1848, over a hundred years before the country's independence in 1943. The participants also estimate that "the situation of the Country, partisan rivalries and sectarian divisions are a bad omen, and which could lead to a division or federation of Lebanon, once all the possible options are exhausted due to the obstinacy of the ruling class”.

Therefore, the assembly calls for "the holding of a national conference that brings together all the factions, communities and components of the country, under the aegis of the United Nations, with the aim of finding a solution to the crisis in Lebanon and preserving its entity, identity and the national Constitution ".

The Chaldean Superior Council recalls that in his last speech to the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican Pope Francis recognized "the pioneering role of Lebanon and the need to preserve its identity and specificity".

And the statement adds: “The Chaldean Superior Council does not expect current problems to be solved without international initiatives [...] capable of materializing in the form of an international conference addressing the question of our homeland, as was the case in 1848 with the Vienna Conference ( the two Caïmacamats), in 1861 at the Beirut Conference (adoption of the Moutasarrifiya system), in 1919 (at the Paris Peace Conference), as well as at the Riyadh and Cairo conferences which deepened the question of sending deterrent forces in Lebanon (in 1976); and again, the Geneva Conference of 1983, to try to resolve the Lebanese crisis, without forgetting the Lausanne Conference in 1984 and the 1989 Taëf Agreement".

Even if under the patronage of the United Nations, the Chaldean communiqué concludes, this conference should still be placed "under the umbrella of the Maronite patriarchate, which has always known how to raise its voice when the country strayed from the right path".

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