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U.S. Congress delegation visits Patriarch Rahi, says Mideast policy to change with Trump

Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros Rahi welcomed, at Bkerki on Friday, a delegation of U.S. Congress, with whom he discussed latest developments on the regional and international scenes.

The delegation comprised Democratic Paty Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich, as well as Elie and Bassam Khawam.

"This is my first visit in Lebanon and the region and it has been a great experience, because I listened to the viewpoints of the political and spiritual leaders, among whom Cardinal Rahi, who are still working on enhancing religious freedom and preserving free and diversed communities, where people can live in peace regardless of their religious beliefs," Gabbard told reporters following the meeting.

"This is a very important message, not just for this region, but also for the entire world. This why we must work together to assume this mission of peace," she said.

For his part, Kucinich indicated that he believed in the "leading role" assumed by the Maronite Patriarch worldwide.

He also highlighted the necessity that Congressmen visit Lebanon to take note of the situation, "and carry back with them a message to the country on the necessity to work on fighting terrorism and supporting pluralism in which the U.S. strongly believes."

"The diversified communities in Syria and Lebanon rely on our respect for sovereignty and religious freedoms," he stressed.

In turn, Elie Khawam underlined that the U.S policy towards the region would "completely change" with the election of President Donald Trump and his new administration.

He also explained that their mission was to form a clear idea on the situation in Lebanon.

"Priority remains for fighting and eradicating the Islamized takfiri terrorism sweeping the region," he concluded.

Rahi has earlier met with Kataeb's Deputy Head, former minister Salim Sayegh, who explained to the prelate his party's viewpoint on the election law.

Source: National News Agency