Naharnet

Al-Rahi Hails Dialogue between Rival Parties, Says to Break Ice Gradually

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi lauded on Thursday the exerted efforts to launch dialogue between the political arch-foes to break the ice and reduce tension in Lebanon.

“Dialogue between rival parties would end the ongoing dilemmas in the country,” al-Rahi said in his New Year’s Day sermon at Bkirki.

The patriarch expressed hope that the exerted endeavors would lead to the election of a new head of state.

The presidential post has been vacant since president Michel Suleiman's term ended on May 25. Lawmakers failed to secure the needed quorum for electing a new president despite holding 16 voting sessions, amid a boycott by the MPs of Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Hizbullah.

“Peace will not flourish between people as long as there are sides that are distorting the truth and violating justice and practicing oppression,” al-Rahi stressed.

He noted that the state has to fully carry out its duties towards its citizens.

Al-Mustaqbal movement and Hizbullah held their first meeting in Ain al-Tineh last week under the auspices of Speaker Nabih Berri, in an attempt to devise a “roadmap” and a “mechanism” for the coming dialogue sessions between the two parties.

The Lebanese Forces and the FPM are also expected to engage in dialogue after reports revealed that Melhem Riachi, chairman of the LF communication department, and MP Ibrahim Kanaan are holding meetings away from the media spotlight to prepare the agenda for the dialogue between the leaders of the two parties.


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