By Anne Kurian-Montabone

Cardinal Bechara Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, published a Memorandum for Lebanon, in which he hopes that the country will continue to live under a status of “active neutrality,” reported the Vatican Agency Fides, on Aug. 17, 2020.

Thus, Lebanon would be able to play its role and assume “its mission” in the Arab context.

“The religious and cultural pluralism, which is the veritable nature of Lebanese society, makes of Lebanon a land of meeting and dialogue between religions, cultures and civilizations,” stressed the Cardinal. And its “ideal’ position on the shores of the Mediterranean makes “a bridge that links culture, economies and civilizations of the East and the West.”

According to the Cardinal, “Lebanon, with its active neutrality, enjoys three linked, complementary and indivisible dimensions”: the definitive rejection to be part of coalitions, axes, political conflicts and wars at the regional and international level; solidarity with causes of fundamental rights and freedom, in particular the Arab causes that obtained the unanimous support of member countries of the Arab League and the United Nations; the reinforcement of the Lebanese State through its different institutions (military, judicial, legislative and executive).

Cardinal Rai believes that “a strong Lebanese State will promote unity, peace and justice for all citizens and guarantee opportunities for creativity, entrepreneurship and social and economic prosperity. Moreover, a strong State equipped with these qualities will certainly be able to safeguard interior peace and defend the nation from external threats.”

And he added, “a strong and neutral Lebanon is also in need of a just and speedy resolution to the questions linked to the demarcation of its border with Israel, in accordance with the 1949 Armistice, as well as the acceptance of Lebanon’s border as recognized at the international level by Syria.”

Lebanon will “continue to defend the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and will work for a just and equitable solution regarding Palestinian refugees, in particular those that live on its territory.

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