19-March-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Patriarch Rai to Lebanese Government: Stop War of Attrition

Calls for De-Escalation of Tensions Within Country

ROME, March 19, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Boutros Bechara Rai has called on political leaders in Lebanon to end to "the war of attrition", denouncing the tensions that have arisen in the country by opposing political forces.

According to Fides, Patriarch Rai made his states during a Mass in BkerkÚ to mark the beginning of the appointment of Caritas Lebanon's new president, Father Paul Karam on Sunday, March 16th.

Tensions have arisen in Lebanon after the government released a statement that gave citizens the right to resist Israeli attacks.

The Lebanese government "affirms the right of Lebanese citizens to resist Israeli occupation and repel aggressions and recover occupied territory," the statement read. The language of the statement came after political parties within the country were in dispute for weeks.

The Maronite Patriarch called for a de-escalation of tensions in the country. Patriarch Rai reiterated the need to eliminate all the "concerns expressed in relation to the State as a unitary authority in reference to its territory, its people and its institutions as is enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution in force in Lebanon."

Patriarch Rai wished the new President of Caritas Lebanon "to operate profitably in addressing the exorbitant problems that the body will be found to deal with." (J.A.E.)

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