Al-Rahi Hopes Success for French Presidential Envoy

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi expressed hope on Tuesday that a French presidential envoy would be able to resolve the Baabda Palace impasse.

Before traveling to Rome, al-Rahi hoped that Jean-François Girault, who is the director of the department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, would “succeed in his mission.”

Girault arrived in Beirut on Monday for talks with the country's rival leaders, in his second visit to Lebanon in more than two months.

The official has been tasked by French President Francois Hollande to try to reach a breakthrough over the presidential elections in Lebanon.

The country has been left without a head of state since President Michel Suleiman's term ended in May last year.

Al-Rahi, who is a cardinal, was asked at Rafik Hariri International Airport about the deadly bus bombing that targeted Lebanese pilgrims in Damascus on Sunday.

“The world cannot go on in this condition of violence, war, murder and destruction,” he said.

The blast ripped through a bus carrying the pilgrims, killing at least nine people in an attack claimed by al-Nusra Front.

In his remarks to reporters at the airport, the patriarch thanked all those who visited him and inquired about his health following his surgery to remove a blood clot in the head.

Al-Rahi is traveling to Rome to participate in the meeting of the College of Cardinals.



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