Naharnet

Syria Grand Mufti Meets with Aoun, al-Rahi

President Michel Aoun met on Wednesday with Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun at the Baabda Palace, the National News Agency reported.

Hassoun was accompanied by Syrian Ambassador for Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali, NNA added.

After the meeting Hassoun praised the Lebanese President saying: “Aoun was elected by the people before he was elected by the leaders. He is a national man.”

He added: “We have not been at odds with anyone and will not be at odds with anyone. We urge those on bad terms with us to shake hands, reconcile and forgive.”

Hassoun and Ali held talks later in the day with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi at the seat of the Maronite church in Bkirki.

The Mufti's visit to Lebanon is not the first by a Syrian figure following the election of Aoun on October 31. In November, envoy of Syrian President and Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Azzam visited Aoun and conveyed a message of congratulation on his election from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Back in 1989, Aoun was a staunch opponent of the Syrian regime while he was the head of a transitional military government. Aoun fled to the French embassy and eventually to Paris after Syrian warplanes bombed the presidential palace where he was residing during an October 13, 1990 offensive.


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