Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi urged on Sunday the newly formed cabinet to carry out reforms and to remove the country from the policy of axes, while rejecting practices that “violate the constitution” and the recent import of Iranian oil.
During his Sunday mass sermon, the patriarch welcomed the formation of a new cabinet following 13 months of delay.
“We hope that [the government] will work as one national team to stop the collapse and confront the continuous operations that undermine the legitimacy and sovereignty of the state,” he said, citing the recent import of Iranian fuel and the obstruction of the investigation into the Beirut Port explosion..
Last Thursday, Iran-backed Hezbollah began bringing in tankers carrying fuel from Iran, a move it says should ease a crippling energy crisis in Lebanon. A tanker ship carried the fuel to Syria and from there it crossed into Lebanon. Both Syria and Iran are under US sanctions.
Rahi stressed the need to protect Lebanon’s neutrality, to achieve expanded decentralization and support the judiciary that should complete investigations into the Beirut Port explosion.
He hoped that Lebanon would overcome its current crisis given the internal, regional and international circumstances that facilitated the formation of the new government.
He called for reforms in all sectors, resolving the fuel and electricity crisis, closing border crossings with Syria that are used for smuggling, and combating the price manipulation of commodities.