LEBANON: Syriac Maronite Patriarch al-Raï hands copy of “Lebanon and Active Neutrality” memorandum to Qatari delegation

BKERKE, Lebanon — On Tuesday evening, Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Béchara Boutros al-Raï received the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani at the patriarchal headquarters in Bkerké, Lebanon to discuss the political situation in the country in the wake of the 4 August explosion that killed at least 170 people and left thousands more injured and hundreds of thousands homeless.

Al Thani was accompanied by head of the Qatari State Security Apparatus Abdullah Muhammad al-Khulaifi, Ambassador of Qatar in Lebanon Muhammad bin Hassan Jaber al-Jaber, and Office Director of the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Saad bin Ali al-Khuraiji.

During the meeting, Al Thani affirmed that Qatar will stand by Lebanon during this period of crisis. He also referred to the historical relations between Lebanon, Qatar, and the Maronite Patriarchate, hoping that Lebanon would return to a state of prosperity and stability.

Al Thani praised the strength of the Lebanese people in overcoming past crises and assured they will overcome their current hardships, too.

Patriarch al-Raï handed Al Thani a letter to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and a copy of the memorandum of “Lebanon and Active Neutrality” the Patriarch penned on 7 August and made public on 17 August.

The memorandum calls for Lebanon to pursue a policy of “active neutrality” and extract itself from regional and international conflicts and, given the ethnic and religious diversity of its population, act as a mediator in the region.