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Bkirki Consultative Meeting attendees pledge adherence to national unity, reject alteration of Lebanon’s identity

The Bkirki Patriarchate released the final statement issued in the wake consultative meeting hosted by Rahi this Wednesday and which brought together Maronite politicians and lawmakers.

The statement reads as follows:

"Upon the invitation of His Eminence, Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, and at this critical national moment, and based on the firm conviction of Maronites that Lebanon is not theirs, rather they are for Lebanon, the Bkirki patriarchate hosted on Wednesday January 16, 2019, a meeting for Maronite Heads of parliamentary blocs and MPs to discuss the political, economic and social conditions prevailing over Lebanon, and what must be done to ward off risks and reassure the Lebanese.

This meeting has a national dimension. The patriarchal edifice was the first factor in the establishment of Lebanon, and is the one keen on it.

After in-depth discussions, conferees emphasized the following points:

First: Adopting the content of the opening speech of His Eminence.

Second: Lebanon, the society and the State, emanated from the civilizational and humane encounter between its Christian and Muslim sons, since these two religions converged on its land. Lebanon's historical identity, which reflects its deep spiritual being, is what impacted its constitution. No one can create a new identity for Lebanon.

Third: Clinging to national unity, the national charter and conviviality with their partners in the homeland and adhering to good management of pluralism on the basis of a fair and balanced national partnership, as well as to respecting the constitution and the sovereignty of the State while rejecting anything that would harm the balance of constitutional institutions and their respective powers, on top of which the Presidency of the Republic. Respecting the powers entrusted to State officials and equal cooperation between the three authorities protects the Constitution and serves the interests of the homeland and the people and strengthens the immunity and prestige of the State.

Fourth: Upholding the independence of the national decision and Lebanon's supreme interest in shaping its foreign relations and the commitment of its affiliation to Arab and international systems so as not to distort the identity of Lebanon and bring to isolation from its Arab and international environment.

Fifth: Applying the constitution in both letter and spirit, and (...) regarding the Constitutional institutions as the only framework for discussing and resolving political crises and rejecting all methods that threaten to overthrow the State or rob it of its decision.

Sixth: Promoting the presence of Christians in Lebanon and their active role in it, and preserving the land and freedom as stipulations for the continuation of "Lebanon's message" as a model of pluralism, diversity, freedom and democracy.

Seventh: Calling for a speedy formation of a government according to the constitution (...); a government to give incentive for the international community to support Lebanon. Cooperating with the President of the Republic and the PM-designate to immunize Lebanon against political, economic and social crises.

Eighth: Condemning Israel's repeated violations of Lebanon's sovereignty and confronting its threat with greater national solidarity under the state's roof. Demanding the implementation of international resolutions and rejecting any attempt to settle Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and asserting their right to return.

Ninth: Supporting the Lebanese Army and the security forces to carry out their duty to defend Lebanon and preserve its security and sovereignty.

Tenth: Doing everything possible to ensure the return of displaced Syrians to their homeland as soon as possible and asserting their right to safe return to their land, as displacement has become a serious existential challenge which puts the identity of Lebanon and its entity at great risk.

Eleventh: Dealing responsibly with the economic and financial affairs to confront threats to the social security of citizens. Actively working to control the management of public finances and stop the waste, and fighting corruption so as to reduce the budget deficit...

Twelfth: Encouraging Christian youth and helping them engage in state institutions and civil, military and security public administrations.

Thirteen: Participants affirmed their commitment to the Maronite conscience and its historical national principles, especially in terms of the relations that unite them on the rules of peace, forgiveness and cooperation despite the multiplicity of political options. They pledged to face the above-mentioned challenges and to organize and coordinate frameworks and mechanisms to confront them through the formation of a follow-up committee comprising representatives of the parliamentary blocs participating in the meeting.

The ad-hoc committee shall commence its work immediately and further discuss the raised points by holding extensive meetings. The committee is composed of MPs Ibrahim Kanaan, George Adwan, Sami Gemayel, Estfan Douaihi, Michel Mouawad, Farid Heikal Al-Khazen and Hadi Hobeish.

Finally, the participants renewed their commitment to the "charter of political action in Light of the Church's teachings and the specificity of Lebanon" issued by the Maronite Patriarchate.

Source: National News Agency