Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai reterated time and again “the urgent need to immediately elect a President of the Republic.”

In his Sunday sermon in Bkerke, he praised the initiative of the National Moderation Bloc and the efforts of the Quintet ambassadors aimed at facilitating an end to the presidential election deadlock.

“We look positively at the initiative of the National Moderation Bloc and the efforts of the ambassadors, and hope they succeed,” he said.

On the other hand, the Patriarch held political officials responsible for the paralysis of the country. “They must move beyond their personal and factional interests to uplift the country in all aspects,” he added.

Concerning the raging war in Gaza, Patriarch Rai strongly condemned the “war of annihilation” in the enclave and expressed hope that Lebanon would not slip into this “blind conflict,” emphasizing the need to protect the South and its citizens.

“We demand the world to stop it and we condemn and reject the world’s silence in the face of the Israeli war on Gaza, fearing for their financial interests and sacrificing a people entitled to their own state,” he asserted.

He stated that “it is the Palestinians people’s right to have a state of its own according to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which was voted on November 29, 1947, regarding the partition of Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab, and delineating its borders.”

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