Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, hoped Sunday that the Palestinian refugees residing in Lebanon would recall that Lebanon has been in solidarity with their cause for the last 70 years, and more than any other country, hoping that they do not pay Lebanon back by resorting to demonstrations and uprisings.
Speaking during Sunday Mass at the summer patriarchal seat in al-Diman, the Patriarch reminded that Lebanon has paid dearly for its solidarity with the Palestinian cause. He, thus, hoped that the Palestinians would in turn show solidarity with Lebanon and its people.
"We are aware of their economic plight and their living conditions. However, we hope that they will also realize the status of the Lebanese people, one third of whom are under the poverty line, 35% of the youth are unemployed, and 70% of Lebanese have no pension," al-Rahi went on.
"The state is submerged in debt, the treasury in deficit, the economy is stumbling in all its sectors, and the miserable cycle goes on...," he said regretfully.
"The Labor Law, which the Labor Ministry is working to implement, protects the rights of all. Our hope is that the Palestinian brethrens would not reward Lebanon and its people with demonstrations and uprisings," al-Rahi underlined.
"On the contrary, let's adjust our target to those who robbed your land and forced you into emigration, and let's address the Arab and international communities responsible, with the Palestinian Authority, for the basis we are struggling to achieve - namely the two-state solution and the return of all Palestinian refugees to their lands in accordance with the international legitimate resolutions of 1948," the Patriarch corroborated.
Touching on the long-awaited cabinet session, al-Rahi stressed that "politicians do not have the right to render themselves above the constitution, justice and institutions, and we cannot accept the disruption of the government's meeting and its relinquishing of its responsibility as a procedural authority, remaining hostage to political strife."
He added: "The political forces do not have the right to create a situation of tension and instability that leads to the absence of proper assessment and study of necessary economic and financial dossiers, which negatively affects the economic, financial and living conditions in the country, and increases the conditions of poverty and deprivation, while the state loses the confidence of the people and the international community."
The Patriarch also highlighted the need to respect the rule of equality and fairness in official appointments, taking into account the essential components of integrity, efficiency and competition as the basis for recruitment in state institutions.
Source: National News Agency