Rahi conveys to Hollande stance of Maronite Church from regional situation

APRIL 28, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros Rahi on Tuesday ended his visit in France’s capital, Paris, with a meeting with French President, FranCois Hollande, in presence of Bishop Maroun Nasser Gemayel and Lebanese ChargE d’Affaires in Paris, Ghadi Khoury.

Rahi left after the meeting at ElysEe without delivering any statement.

National News Agency correspondent reported that the meeting was “good,” whereby Rahi handed his host a memorandum including the stance of the Maronite Patriarchate and Church from the current situation in the region, especially in terms of attacks on Christians by terrorist organizations in addition to the presidential vacuum.

Talks also touched on the issue of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the incumbent load, especially on the security, economic, and social levels.

Rahi called Hollande to help Lebanon elect a new president of the republic in the nearest time possible and to work on providing necessary aids for Syrian refugees.

The prelate confirmed to the French President the strong relations linking Lebanon and France, thanking the French state for what it providing for Lebanon on all levels.

For his part, Hollande highlighted the depth of ties between the two countries, and underlined France’s readiness to take initiatives before the international instances to speed up the election of a new head of the Lebanese state.

“France does not meddle into the Lebanese domestic affairs, but it considers that the election of a president helps regulate the work of the constitutional institutions,” Hollande said.

“France will always be by the side of Lebanon and its unity. It backs the Lebanese army in facing terrorism,” he added.

Rahi later left France returning to Lebanon aboard a private jet belonging to former Deputy Prime Minister, Issam Fares.