Syriac Maronite Patriarch al-Rai receives several delegations and personalities, discusses presidential vacuum in Lebanon

BETH KERKE, Lebanon — On Thursday, Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rai met with several Lebanese delegations and personalities at the Patriarchal Edifice in Beth Kerke (Bkerke), Lebanon, where he discussed with them the current presidential vacuum in the country and its repercussion for the Lebanese people.

The Patriarch received Minister of the Interior and Municipalities in the caretaker government Judge Bassam al-Mawlawi.

During their meeting, the two discussed the presidential vacuum and the economic, political, and social instability it has caused. They stressed the importance of restoring balance to the government as a step in solving Lebanon’s persistent problems.

Al-Mawlawi explained that the Lebanese security forces are working to protect the people and ensure that a state of civil war, which the country has fallen into repeatedly in recent history, does not return. The municipal elections which will take place in May will hopefully be a positive step, he added.

Patriarch al-Rai also received a delegation from the Amal Movement headed by Sheikh Hassan al-Masry. Sheikh al-Masryf offered congratulations on the advent of Christmas, hoping that the holidays would bring salvation for Lebanon from its crises. The two sides discussed the work of government institutions in the country, their effectiveness, and the need to fill the presidential vacuum.

Patriarch al-Rai then received a delegation from the Identity and Sovereignty Movement headed by former Minister Youssef Salameh and Sheikh Sami Abdel-Khaleq, representative of Druze Sheikh Akl.

During the meeting, the delegation presented the Patriarch with a national document that dealt with the delegation’s full vision of how to build a viable state in a serious attempt to build an honest Lebanese dialogue.

The Patriarch also received Minister of Information in the caretaker government Ziad Makari, who explained that there is a conviction that the country is in dire need of electing a president through democratic means and not waiting for the outside. Regarding the convening of a cabinet session early next year, Makari confirmed that the issue is on the table, but nothing is certain until it is accomplished.