ASIA/LEBANON - Maronite Bishops welcome negotiations with Israel over sea borders

Thursday, 8 October 2020 middle east   oriental churches   area crisis   politics   geopolitics   economy  

Bkerké (Agenzia Fides) - The slowness of investigations into the August 4th explosion in the port of Beirut is a strong demonstration of the failure of the Lebanese State and the inability of national institutions to deal with the Country's systemic crisis. This is what the Maronite Bishops say at the beginning of their joint message released at the end of their monthly meeting, which took place on 7 October, in the Patriarchate in Bkerké under the presidency of Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai.
The inaction of the Lebanese institutions in identifying and prosecuting those responsible for this devastating explosion, according to the Maronite Bishops, goes hand in hand with inaction, which is also demonstrated in the face of the urgency to compensate the families of the victims and provide the funds to restore buildings, homes and infrastructure destroyed by the August 4 explosion. In this context, however, the message of the Bishops pays tribute to the wave of solidarity triggered by the tragedy in the port of Beirut, which, in addition to Lebanese citizens, was joined by governments, ecclesiastical institutions, civil associations and artists around the world, who in a concrete way showed closeness and solidarity with Lebanon.
The Maronite Bishops hope that these initiatives "will continue to reach the large number of Lebanese who live below the poverty line".
Regarding the ongoing political paralysis following the explosion in the port of Beirut, the Maronite Bishops express "regret and dismay" for the "political games" that have so far prevented the formation of a "government of national salvation" made up of "competent reformers", that may restore the confidence of the Lebanese people and the international community in the political leadership of the Land of the Cedars.
In the document, the Maronite Bishops also express their concern about the ongoing health emergency due to Covid-19 in Lebanon and welcome the announcement of the "framework agreement" for the "negotiation of the sea border between Lebanon and Israel under the aegis of the United Nations". The Maronite Bishops hope that these negotiations "can lead to a swift solution that will enable Lebanon to benefit from its oil and gas wealth in favor of the nation and therefore all of its children".
In the current month of October, the Maronite Bishops call on all the faithful to pray the rosary, meditate on the mystery of salvation and ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, so that the "Eternal Father pours his consolations in the hearts of all people, who suffered and continue to suffer in one way or another since the August 4th explosion". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 8/10/2020)