| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Al-Rahi receives French Senate delegation, outgoing Qatari Ambassador

Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, received today at the patriarchal seat in Bkirki, a delegation from the French Senate headed by Christine Lavard, President of the Lebanese-French Friendship Group in the Council, accompanied by French Ambassador Anne Grillo.

The visit was an occasion in which the delegation stressed the need for “the Lebanese to cooperate with each other and unite in order to save their homeland.”

After the meeting, Lavard indicated that “this is the second visit to His Beatitude after the first that took place last January. At that time, we heard from His Beatitude his stance regarding the necessity of implementing Lebanon’s neutrality, and today Patriarch al-Rahi renewed his stance in calling for Lebanon’s neutrality, because it is the only way for the country to return to its former era of prosperity, stability, security and peace.”

She continued to indicate that they exchanged views with the Patriarch over the current Lebanese situation, prior to their expected meetings with various political parties, “particularly the deeply divided Christian parties in the heart of the Christian community.”

Over the situation prevailing in Lebanon, Lavard said: “The disparity that we saw in Lebanon has shocked us. If what happened here, occurred in any other country in the world, such as France, for example, and after the industrial disaster that the country has witnessed, we would immediately begin to return things to normal. Stability helps to start again, but in Lebanon, nearly a year after the tragic explosion of the port of Beirut, the port is still not operating.”

Lavard concluded by emphasizing that “the Lebanese are the owners of the solution in the first place. The international community and France, in particular, were here and provided emergency humanitarian assistance, and it will be tomorrow as well with the aim of providing organized assistance to restore the country’s health…But the Lebanese themselves, the political class and officials must take the decision to bring about change.”

The Patriarch later met with Qatar’s Ambassador, Mohammed Hassan Jaber Al-Jaber, on a farewell visit upon the end of his diplomatic term in Lebanon.


  • NNA