Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Sunday expressed sorrow over Thursday’s deadly incidents in the Tayyouneh-Ain al-Remmaneh area, expressing “warm condolences to the families of the victims” and wishing recovery for the wounded.
“At the same time we strongly condemn these incidents and the armed appearances that were used between brothers in the same country,” al-Rahi added, in his Sunday Mass sermon.
“The democratic system provides us with peaceful means of expression, in acceptance or rejection, support or opposition, and therefore no party is allowed to resort to intimidation, violence and the setting up of partisan or clan checkpoints on public roads to obtain what they want by force,” the patriarch said.
He warned that “harming national peace and good and brotherly neighborliness is rejected wherever it may come from.”
“We reject to return to arbitrary accusations, sectarian polarization and seditious media. We reject to return to readily available slogans and isolation attempts… We reject to return to the fabrication of files against this or that group or to the selection of certain people as scapegoats,” al-Rahi added.
Moreover, the patriarch voiced support for President Michel Aoun’s latest speech, in which he “announced that he rejects threats and intimidation and the taking of Lebanon as a hostage.”
He also backed the president’s “adherence to the judicial investigation” into the port blast explosion and his warning that “the clock should not be turned back” to the days of civil war.
Al-Rahi also saluted the army for its role in containing the clashes.
“We support the army’s role in preserving national security and it managed in the past days to contain the clashes zone and prevent an expansion of the attack on the civilian and residential neighborhoods,” the patriarch said.
“The Lebanese Army showed that the legitimate force, with the security it represents, is stronger than any other force,” al-Rahi added.
“No one is weak in Lebanon. We are all strong with the will of resilience and self-defense and the will of defending our security, dignity and sensitivities,” the patriarch went on to say.