Al-Rahi says Paris, Vatican asked him to talk to all components


Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Thursday announced that France and the Vatican have asked him to talk to all of the country’s “components” regarding the presidential file.

“We will talk to everyone without exception, even to Hezbollah, and the efforts will start today,” al-Rahi told a delegation from the Press Syndicate.

“The parliament speaker must call for an (electoral) session two months before the end of the (president’s) term, but we’re characterized with violating the constitution,” al-Rahi lamented.

“We have become a mockery to the nations because of some politicians, and no one has the right to tamper with the people’s fate or destroy Lebanon,” the patriarch decried.

Noting that he sensed “relief over the Christian consensus over a presidential candidate” during his visits to the Vatican and France, in reference to Jihad Azour’s nomination, al-Rahi said the Vatican and Paris told him that “the understandings have started and must be expanded.”

“What I understood is that there is an agreement by the Christian components over a candidate and I acted accordingly, because Lebanon cannot bear anymore. The people are hungry and emigrating and the displaced (Syrians) are worsening the burden on the country,” the patriarch added.

“They have agreed on Jihad Azour … and what’s important is for the rest of the components to endorse him,” al-Rahi went on to say.

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