LEBANON: MGR. DAHDAH (VICAR OF BEIRUT) "NO MORE SPACE FOR EXTERNAL INTERFERENCE"

"We must go to the root of Lebanon’s problems and uproot the weed. There’s no more space for external interference, but only for the good of this land and its population. Hope only lies in dialogue. Weapons solve nothing". This is how mgr. Paul Dahdah, apostolic vicar of Beirut for the Latins, comments in an interview with SIR the current crisis in Lebanon and the attempted mediation by the Arab League, the secretary of which, Amr Mussa, is expected to go to Beirut tomorrow. "A peaceful Lebanon – states the archbishop – scares many people in the Middle East, and that’s why it has always been the focus of the interests of many regional and international powers. But this country must keep being a workshop of political and religious cohabitation, as the Pope said last Sunday. Of all the Middle Eastern countries, Lebanon is the only one when there’s still a little more freedom of expression and religion, a little more more democracy". Confronted with the political division of Christians, with one side supporting the pro-Western government of prime minister Siniora, the other supporting the pro-Syrians of Hezbollah, mgr. Dahdah repeats that "it is not up to the Church to pass judgement or take sides. The important thing is that no weapons but dialogue is used. As a Church, we have to put forward the urgency of working for the common good of the country. It is on this that we must compete, not on weapons".

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