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THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
03:55 PM Beirut time
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Siniora, Rai agree on need to implement Baabda Declaration
File - Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora arrives at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
File - Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora arrives at the Parliament in Beirut, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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BEIRUT: Head of the Future bloc MP Fouad Siniora held talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai Monday, with both agreeing on the need to commit to the Baabda Declaration.

“Our views ... were identical to those of Patriarch Rai especially in terms of commitment to the principles of the Baabda Declaration, particularly pertaining to distancing [Lebanon] from regional and international conflicts, especially the crisis in Syria,” Siniora told reporters after the meeting in Bkirki, the seat of the Maronite patriarchate.

The Baabda Declaration is an agreement signed by rival politicians last year to neutralize Lebanon from regional turmoil, particularly the raging war in Syria.

The Future Movement along with the March 14 coalition have criticized Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, describing it as a violation of the agreement.

Hezbollah has said that the declaration was merely "ink on paper."

During his chat with reporters in Bkirki, Siniora also said that talks with the patriarch emphasized the principle of coexistence and the need for the rotation of power.

“We also stressed on [the need] to commit to democracy as a system and a mechanism for governance and a method for the rotation of power,” Siniora said.

"We also emphasized the [need for] Lebanese to unite in their commitment to the National Covenant of 1943 which was developed by the will of the Lebanese and their consensus over the Taif Accord,” he added.

Siniora said the upcoming phase in Lebanon requires the full implementation of the Taif Accord.

While Lebanon copes with a caretaker Cabinet, in light of the PM-designate's failure to form a new government, politicians have begun discussing possible candidates for the upcoming presidential elections.

 
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