Al-Rahi Expected to Launch Comprehensive Reconciliation Initiative

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is expected to reconcile the rival Christian political leaders ahead of an initiative for a comprehensive reconciliation in the country, Bkirki's spokesman said.

Walid Ghayyad told al-Mustaqbal newspaper published on Thursday that al-Rahi “has a certain vision to implement this reconciliation starting with efforts to break the ice” among Maronite leaders.

The spokesman said that the cardinal might launch his initiative by holding bilateral talks with each of the country's top Christian political leaders.

Al-Rahi believes that “enemies meet and engage in dialogue. It wouldn't be difficult for brothers in a single nation to meet and agree,” Ghayyad told the daily.

The spokesman hoped the reconciliation would expand to include the rest of the rival factions in the country.

The initiative resembles a “snowball that starts with resolving the most difficult problems (among Maronites) and then grows” to include the entire country, he said.

The patriarch is setting the stage for the appropriate atmosphere that would guarantee consensus on the next president over fears from the dangerous repercussions of vacuum,” Ghayyad told al-Mustaqbal.

He warned that the presidential crisis could expand to all institutions in the country.

Baabda Palace has been without a head of state since the end of President Michel Suleiman's six-year tenure on May 25.

The differences between the rival March 8 and 14 alliances over a compromise candidate led to a lack of quorum in several rounds of parliamentary sessions.



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