Rahi: Lebanon Wants Back its Identity
Maronite Patriarch Beshara el-Rahi again on Tuesday renewed calls for Lebanon’s neutrality towards regional conflicts, stressing that Lebanon has become isolated and is losing its original identity.
“We said nothing new when we demanded Lebanon’s neutrality from regional conflicts. We want back our basic identity, a neutral Lebanon, a civil state, pluralism and coexitence,” said Rahi in a statement from the patriarch's summer residence in the northern town of Dimane.
“Lebanon was open to all countries, east and west, except Israel which occupied our land. Lebanon was Switzerland of the east ... Today, Lebanon has become isolated from the whole world. This is not our identity. Our identity is positive and constructive neutrality, not a warrior Lebanon,” added the Patriarch.
He emphasized that “neutrality is a basic international, European and Arab demand. When we demand neutrality we demand commitment to justice, safety, human rights and that bridge between the East and West. We must not antagonize the whole nations.”
In his Sunday sermon, Rahi also stressed the importance of Lebanon's neutrality and indirectly criticized Hizbullah over its role in regional conflicts.
Rahi's latest two sermons have seen criticism against Hizbullah and his ally President Michel Aoun.