LONDON – During his visit to the United Kingdom, Syriac Maronite Patriarch Mor Béchara Boutros Raï held a series of meetings and met with the Minister of State for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs Lord, Tariq Ahmad, and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Affairs, Sarah Mackintosh. Topics covered the main issues related to the current crisis situation in Lebanon and the hardships people are witnessing.
During the meetings with the British politicians, the Patriarch thanked Britain for its continued support for his country and stressed the need for the international community to support solutions to the crisis in Lebanon. The Patriarch has called several times for an international conference under UN auspices to counter the crisis.
Delighted to welcome His Beatitude Patriarch Bechara Boutros al Rahi to the UK. We discussed 🇱🇧 economic crisis, steps to end the Presidential vacuum and the 🇬🇧 commitment to regional stability and security.
أهلا بكم إلى المملكة المتحدة pic.twitter.com/MTofi1GrUi
— Lord (Tariq)Ahmad of Wimbledon (@tariqahmadbt) January 9, 2023
During his visit, Patriarch Mor Béchara also met with expat representatives of Lebanese parties at the Church of Our Lady of Lebanon administered by the Lebanese Maronite Order. Present were representatives of the Marada Movement, National Liberal Party, the Kataeb Party, the Lebanese Forces Party and the Free Patriotic Movement.
The Syriac Maronite prelate stressed to them the necessity of preserving diversity and pluralism in Lebanon. What distinguishes it from other countries in the region is its model of Christian-Islamic coexistence, and Lebanon can therefore be a pivot for dialogue between civilizations, cultures, and religions. He thanked the Lebanese expatriates for their support to their families back in Lebanon, emphasizing the importance of the Lebanese raising their voice in the countries of the diaspora for the sake of Lebanon, which still awaits the election of a new president – by agreement always a Syriac Maronite.
The Patriarch also met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Justin Welby, and the two held an ecumenical prayer for peace in Lebanon and the whole world.