BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai rejected any military action against Syria in remarks Sunday following his meeting with Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch John X Yazigi.
“We are against any foreign military intervention in Syria or other [means] that could includes weapons and strikes,” Rai said at Balamand Monastery near Tripoli.
“The crisis in Syria should be resolved with diplomacy and the tragedies we are seeing are unacceptable,” he added.
He said the conflicting sides in Syria should look to resolve their disputes through peaceful means, saying: “Not everything can be resolved using iron and fire.”
“We don't want war to erase what we have built in this region and we don't want this region to be a means of war,” he said.
Rai also demanded the release of two Syrian bishops kidnapped near a rebel area.
Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped in April by armed men while they were on their way to Aleppo from the Turkish border.
Meanwhile, Rai also said Lebanese rival leaders failed to launch reconciliation or speed up the formation of a new government after recent car bombings in the past two months.
"If [politicians] had taken courageous and responsible steps in the road of a sectarian and political reconciliation, a new government, the restart of national dialogue, and security measures to limit the proliferation of arms, the relatives of the martyrs of Beirut and Tripoli would have been at least consoled,” Rai said during his Sunday Sermon in Diman, north Lebanon.