10/03/2007, 00.00
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No results from discussions over the name and qualities of the future president, says Sfeir

Maronite bishops say it is time for downtown Beirut to be “liberated” from the 10-month-old opposition sit-in. Cardinal talks about “interferences” in the upcoming presidential elections, urges Lebanese to be united.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Lebanon’s Maronite bishops said in a statement after their monthly meeting on Wednesday that discussions over presidential nominees or the qualities the next head of state “will not produce any results.” they also said that it was “time downtown Beirut is liberated" from the 10-month-old opposition sit-in.

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir also discussed the issue of the presidential election at this crucial moment in the country’s history. Yesterday he said he hoped that “we will have a president who can uplift the country, who will be agreed upon by all the Lebanese and who knows how to unite the Lebanese people without any discrimination.”

“This is a little bit difficult due to [foreign] interference" in domestic affairs, Sfeir said during a meeting with a delegation of student members of the ruling March 14 Movement. “But what is difficult becomes easy, if we know how to assume our responsibilities,” he added.

On Sunday, Sfeir had expressed hope that “an agreement could be reached over a president who can unite the Lebanese regardless of their religious, sectarian and political backgrounds.”

"I hope Lebanese people realise how critical the situation facing their country is and would unite in a bid to rescue it and regain its position in the world,” Sfeir said. (PD)

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