Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai stressed Thursday that Saudi Arabia “has never violated the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon”.
He never “violated his borders nor involved in wars. He did not hinder his democracy or ignore his state, ”he added.
On the contrary, the Kingdom “has long supported Lebanon in the Arab and international arenas and offered it financial support and invested in projects which were part of its economic development and reconstruction,” he noted.
“Saudi Arabia has long supported reconciliations and solutions,” he continued. “Saudi Arabia understood the meaning of Lebanon’s existence and its value in the heart of the Arab world. He never sought to overwhelm him with conflicts, but he always jumped to safeguard his neutrality and ensure his sovereignty and independence.
Rai made his remarks during his sponsorship of the release of a book, “Masirat Hiwar Waietidal” (A step through dialogue, moderation: the relationship of the Maronite Patriarchate with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), by Father Antoine Daou. The ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkirki. Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari attended the event.
Rai continued, “I was honored to meet the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during my visit to the Kingdom on November 13, 2017. I felt during the visit their love for Lebanon and at the same time. times their extreme lament at the deterioration of the country.
In a speech, Bukhari hoped that the Lebanese parties “will give priority to the higher Lebanese interests to face the challenges facing the country”. Some of these challenges include attempts by some parties to meddle in the close relations between Lebanon and the Arab world and drag it into conflicts that contradict the Lebanese constitution.
He rejected the rhetoric of struggle, division and fragmentation. There is no room for rhetoric that eliminates the Arab identity of Lebanon.
In addition, he stressed the importance of preserving the diversity and coexistence that were consolidated by the Taif Agreement, which protects the national unity and civil peace of Lebanon.
He described the book’s release as an occasion that embodies the deep historical ties between Saudi Arabia and the Maronite Patriarchate and represents a real guarantee to preserve “a free, sovereign and independent Lebanon”.
He took the opportunity to highlight Saudi Arabia’s role in promoting the culture of peace, moderation and coexistence and in preserving human dignity.
“Because we are supporters of peace, then the future of the East is peace, far from intolerance, sectarianism and extremism whatever their sources and their justifications”, he said. he declares.
Rai noted that Saudi Arabia was the first Arab country to recognize the independence of Lebanon in 1943. It respected the choices, identity, diversity, traditions and way of life of the Lebanese people.