Rai: Calls for Dissociation are for Lebanon’s Interests
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai said that his call last week to the international community to stress Lebanon’s neutrality was for the sake of the country and the best of all its components.
“The Lebanese do not want any party to unilaterally decide the fate of Lebanon, along with its people, territory, border, identity, coexistence formula, system, economy, culture and civilization,” Rai said during a Sunday Mass sermon.
“They want a free state that speaks in the name of the people and returns to them with regard to fateful decisions, rather than a state that abandons its decision-making and sovereignty,” he added.
The patriarch stressed that calls he made last Sunday on the need to dissociate Lebanon from external and regional conflicts were based on the country’s supreme interests and national unity.
He said he made the call “in order to protect Lebanon from the dangers of the fast-moving political and military developments in the region and in order to avoid involvement in the policy of regional and international axes and struggles, prevent external interference in Lebanon’s affairs, and out of keenness on its supreme interest, national unity and civil peace … and its adherence to the resolutions of international legitimacy and Arab unanimity.”
He also underscored “the rightful Palestinian cause” and demanded “the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Shebaa Farms, the Kfarshouba hills and the northern part of the village of Ghajar, in addition to the implementation of the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.”