Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) - Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria, on Wednesday, December 7 made a brief but significant visit to Lebanon, where he was received by the first President of Lebanon Michel Aoun in the presidential palace in Baabda, and then by Maronite Patriarch Bechera Boutros Rai at the patriarchal seat in Bkerke. The reports provided by the Lebanese media did not say whether the double visit had a defined purpose.
In public statements made during his trip in Lebanon, the Grand Mufti of Syria put the emphasis on the "solidity" of a long term Syrian-Lebanese relations, he exalted the "moderation" and "ethics" of President Aoun and without mentioning them by name, he addressed conciliatory words also to the leaders of the Lebanese political forces hostile to the regime of Assad, inviting all to "reconciliation" and "forgiveness". The Sunni religious leader also stated that "Aleppo was not destroyed, as someone wanted" and that "now there is great hope in Syria and in Lebanon, under the command of Presidents Michel Aoun and Bashar al-Assad".
The 82-year-old Maronite former general Michel Aoun, who became President of Lebanon in late October after a vacatio of the presidential office which lasted almost two and a half years, at the end of the eighties, in the last phase of the civil war, he was the standard-bearer of the Lebanese reaction against the dominance of the Syrian armed forces in the Country of the Cedars. At that time, against the Syrians Aoun had also accepted the military help of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, great enemy of the Rais of Damascus Hafez al Assad. From 1990 to 2005 Aoun had to leave Lebanon invaded by the Syrian army and go into exile in France. On his return to his homeland, in 2005, he founded the Free Patriotic Movement and radically changed the network of its alliances, inaugurating an exclusive relationship with the Shiite Hezbollah party and also mending relations with the Syria of Bashar al Assad. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/12/2016)