Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi received a delegation of German government partners in the Order of Malta-Germany accompanied by the Chairman of the Finance Committee at the German Parliament, Rodger Kroes, with talks touching on an array of local issues, including the issue of displaced Syrians and the importance of helping them return to their homeland.
"Lebanon is a model country where Christians and Muslims live in remarkable harmony," Kroes said. "We are impressed by how a small country like Lebanon can receive and care for more than half of its population of Syrian refugees and Palestinian refugees, at a time when capable countries only welcomes very small numbers of displaced Syrians. A solution must be found to this problem, and Lebanon and the displaced must be fairly assisted."
Rahi later met with the Ambassador of Australia to Lebanon, Rebecca Grindley, for the first time since she started her diplomatic role in Lebanon.
The ambassador underlined "the distinguished relations between Australia and Lebanon, especially with the existence of a respectable Maronite community in Australia, that has contributed to the country's growth and prosperity."
"There is also an Australian community in Lebanon with an estimated 30,000 Australians while more than 400,000 Lebanese reside in Australia, which encourages communication between the two countries," the diplomat said, adding that Australia appreciates Lebanon's efforts to accommodate the displaced Syrians, and has contributed by about $ 438 million to support the Syrian refugees since the outbreak of war in Syria.
She stressed that her country continues to support Lebanon in this regard, hoping to find a final solution to this issue.
The new UN special coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubis, has also met with Patriarch Rahi, and discussed with him a number of key issues in Lebanon and the latest developments in the region.
"We know that the situation of Christians in some countries is very difficult, but fortunately, Lebanon is an exceptional country among those that surround it. We clearly see coexistence and understanding among the different communities, which resulted in agreements and secured stability," he said.
Source: National News Agency