| 20 July 2024, Saturday |

Lebanon Patriarch adopts Riyadh summit declaration, urges leaders to implement It

Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rahi commended on Sunday the final statement issued by the extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh a day earlier and said he adopts “the content of its declaration.”

He also called on Arab and Islamic countries to implement the decisions of the summit.

The summit was held in the Saudi capital as an emergency meeting between the countries of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“We endorse the content of the statement of the Riyadh Summit held yesterday, hoping that the Arab and Islamic countries will work to implement its provisions, with their leaders being peacemakers with courage, committed to the decision of the Arab Peace Initiative declared in the Beirut Summit in 2002, which adopted the two-state solution as a gateway to peace and stability in the Middle East,” the Patriarch said in his Sunday sermon.

Rahi condemned the brutal genocide in Gaza, which has surpassed eleven thousand victims, with nearly half of them being children.

He also denounced the programed destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, churches, and mosques, intending to expel Palestinians from their land and eliminate their cause after seventy-five years.

“This inhumane and savage genocide, along with the blockade preventing water, food, and medicine from reaching a million and a half displaced people without shelter, constitute a shameful stain on the face of this generation and the leaders of this war,” Rahi said.

He added, “We declare once again our solidarity with the Palestinians and insist that the only solution, in the near and distant future, is the establishment of two states.”

The Patriarch called on the international community to immediately and permanently impose a ceasefire and initiate negotiations for a political solution.

Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries called on Saturday for an immediate end to military operations in Gaza, rejecting Israel’s justification of its actions against Palestinians as self-defense.

The extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh urged the International Criminal Court to investigate “war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing” in the Palestinian territories, according to a final communique.

Touching on the Lebanese file, the Patriarch renewed his call for parliament to hold successive sessions, according to the constitution, in order to elect a president.

“We refuse to subordinate the election of a president to a person, a group or a project,” said Rahi. “ We refuse to remain without a president while the state disintegrates, constitutional and public institutions collapse, the people and our living forces migrate to other lands, and the constitution is violated.”


  • Asharq Al-Awsat