LEBANON: Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Béchara Boutros Raï meets with George Qardahi and Suleiman Franjieh

BETH KERKE (BKERKE), Lebanon – Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Béchara Boutros Raï received Minister of Information George Qardahi at the patriarchal edifice of the Syriac Maronite Church in Bkerke on Saturday. Mor Béchara discussed with Minister Qardahi, also a Syriac Maronite, the repercussions of his statement regarding the conflict in Yemen. Qardahi listened to the Patriarch’s directives regarding this issue, stressing his lack of attachment to any position and his readiness to make a decision dictated by his national conscience and Lebanon’s interest.

The Patriarch also received former minister and current head of the Marada Movement Suleiman Franjieh, to discuss the situation in Lebanon in general and his position on Saudi Arabia and the UAE specifically. Franjieh, a Syriac Maronite and an ally of the Syrian Ba’ath regime, stated that his party’s position on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Gulf states is very clear:

“We may agree or disagree with them, but we are not in the capacity to challenge them or stand in their way… There may be those who want to cajole in defending them or attacking them. We are not the ones to do this,” he said.

Regarding Lebanon’s current situation in the midst of all these crises, Franjieh expressed his hope that the media would bear their national responsibility to reduce the atmosphere of incitement before it leads to an “explosion” that would not be in the interest of the country. He also confirmed that he would respect Qardahi’s decision whether he would choose to resign or not.