Rome Newsroom, Jul 24, 2020 / 10:15 am
As Lebanon reels from an economic crisis, Catholic patriarchs met Thursday and reaffirmed the importance of the country's neutrality in regional rivalries, underlining that this is vital for a peaceful future in the Middle East.
"Lebanon's neutrality is a project of peace, not of war … Lebanon is unable to remain hostage to external conflicts and projects. The time has come to move out, hand in hand, from deterioration and collapse, and from successive crises," said a statement issued by the Maronite Patriarchate on the meeting July 23.
"The proposal for a system of neutrality is completely far from any sectarian, political or factional thinking, but rather is a national, inclusive approach and in the interest of all Lebanese," it said.
The statement comes at a time when Hezbollah -- the Shiite Muslim political and militant group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government -- has strong alliances with Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria and with Iran in its conflicts with Sunni-majority Gulf states.