Al-Rahi Meets Kanaan, Riachi, Stresses Importance of 'Historic Reconciliation'
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi held talks Thursday with MP Ibrahim Kanaan of the Free Patriotic Movement and caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachi of the Lebanese Forces, after which he stressed the importance of “the historic reconciliation between the LF and the FPM.”
“Any political disagreement between them should not be turned into a rift,” al-Rahi added, addressing the leaderships of the two parties, in a message recited by Bkirki spokesman Walid Ghayyad.
The two parties should “put an end to the media rhetoric that creates polarization and tension at the various political and media levels, including all social networking websites,” the patriarch urged.
He also called on the two parties to “devise a work plan and engage in communication in order to organize a sustainable political relation between them that does not hinge on temporary junctures.”
Riachi for his part emphasized that LF leader Samir Geagea is “keen on consolidating the reconciliation.”
Kanaan meanwhile described the reconciliation as a “sacred red line,” while noting that the LF and the FPM have become a “single party.”
“We are two parties, and the same as you can sometimes find various opinions in the same party, it is normal to find various opinions in two parties,” Kanaan added.
Kanaan and Riachi, who arrived in Diman in the same car, held a brief meeting before their talks with the patriarch, al-Jadeed TV said.
“Kanaan and Riachi stressed to the patriarch that the reconciliation will continue and that there is no turning back, adding that the political implementation of the agreement is marred by flaws that need common evaluation,” the TV network added.
It said the two guests noted that they are not seeking a bilateral confessional alliance but rather a “pluralistic reconciliation.”
“The main objective behind the visit is to reassure the patriarch that there are no disputes and that the issue is only about political competition,” al-Jadeed reported.
The renewed FPM-LF bickering comes as the two parties wrangle over the Christian ministerial shares in the new Cabinet.
Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil has recently announced that the FPM's landmark Maarab Agreement with the Lebanese Forces “no longer exists.”