Rome Newsroom, Aug 18, 2020 / 08:30 am
Lebanon's Maronite patriarch issued a memorandum Monday outlining his vision for the restoration of the country's neutral status as the "Switzerland of the East."
The future of Lebanon is currently being decided -- as French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter Aug. 9 following the explosion in Beirut's port -- and the leader of Lebanon's Maronite Catholics, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, is adamant that the only way forward for the country in crisis is a foundation of "active neutrality" that will lead to economic stability and security.
"Lebanon's neutrality is the guarantee of its unity and its historical position, especially in this phase full of geographic and constitutional changes. It is its strength and guarantee of its stability," Cardinal Rai wrote in the memorandum posted on the website of the Maronite Patriarchate Aug. 17.
"A neutral Lebanon is able to contribute to the stability of the region as well, defend the rights of the Arab peoples and the cause of peace, and play a role in weaving healthy and secure relations between the countries of the Middle East and Europe, by virtue of its location on the shore of the Mediterranean," he said.