04/14/2008, 00.00
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Sfeir: the Country of the Cedars is on the road to collapse

A new warning from the Maronite patriarch, on the day that recalls the beginning of the civil war: the nation is "fragmented, being without a president, run by an amputated government and with a parliament that doesn't meet". And the political crisis is also destroying the economy. The concern of the king of Jordan that the Lebanese crisis could involve the stability and security of the entire region.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - Lebanon "is on the path of collapse": on the day that recalls the eruption of the civil war (April 13, 1975), commemorated by a peaceful demonstration, Maronite patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir issued a new warning against the further deterioration of the situation, which sees the economy suffering greatly from the effects of the political crisis.

The nation, in the words of the patriarch during the Mass celebrated in Bkereke, is "fragmented, being without a president, run by an amputated government and with a parliament that doesn't meet".  Because of the situation, which "we are not being asked to do the impossible to salvage", the patriarch asked God to "inspire us to what is best for our nation and our salvation". "The Arab leaders", he then said, "are aware of the crisis.  Some are seeking to block the solutions. The Lebanese must be vigilant".

Almost as if to echo the patriarch's warning, associations of the parents of people killed and mutilated by the war, together with pacifist movements and students, commemorated in Beirut the sad anniversary of the outbreak of civil war with a march (in the photo), which followed the old line of demarcation to the centre of the capital.

Meanwhile, the parallel diplomacy of political representatives continues.  Prime minister Fouad Siniora has returned from Amman, where he met with King Abdullah II, who expressed his preoccupation that "the continuation of the current situation in Lebanon could have repercussions on the stability and security not only of Lebanon, but of the entire region".

For his part, the president of parliament, Nabih Berri, has returned from a trip that took him to Syrian president Bashar Assad  and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. (PD)

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