BEIRUT: Maronite bishops denounced Wednesday the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria but warned against a foreign military intervention in the neighboring country.
“The bishops denounce the use of chemical weapons in Syria but they call for being aware of the risks of a potential military strike,” the bishops said in a statement following their monthly meeting.
The United States has warned it might take military action against the Syrian government after accusing it of being behind a chemical attack that claimed the lives of over a thousand people in the suburbs of Damascus last month.
The bishops said that a possible military strike on the neighboring country could affect the whole region and they said a political solution would be the best option to end the Syria crisis.
“We call for resolving the Syria crisis through dialogue and peaceful diplomatic means, a political solution is the best option for Syria,” the bishops’ statement said.
The bishops also reiterated their call for forming a Cabinet capable of addressing challenges facing the country.
“Given the dangers threatening Lebanon from both inside and outside the country, the bishops call on state officials... to overcome all barriers dividing them and make a Cabinet capable of confronting dangers and of protecting the Lebanese people and constitutional institutions from total collapse,” the bishops said.
“It is about time to realize that if the nation falls apart, we will all fall with it,” they said.
The council’s meeting was attended by Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who later attended a lunch banquet and held a closed-door meeting with Cardinal Beshara Rai.
President Michel Sleiman also visited the bishops and held talks with Rai later during the day.
Rai hailed the patience of the caretaker PM as he voiced concern over the delay in the formation of a new government.
“We feel with you in the role you have to bear and we praise your patience and efforts. We are concerned with the fate of the nation in this difficult period and the lack of a government that can confront the developments,” the cardinal said.
For his part, Mikati stressed the need for National Dialogue to end the country’s political crisis and reiterated his call for the adoption of a policy of self-dissociation from conflicts in the region, mainly in neighboring Syria.
“Dialogue between the Lebanese is central to resolve disputes and in order to leave our children a nation that is in peace and not subjected to wars every few decades,’ Mikati said.
“I call for facing the difficult circumstances experienced by Lebanon through consolidating the domestic front and reinvigorating the policy of dissociation by returning to the Baabda Declaration,” he added in reference to the agreement between Lebanese rivals to distance Lebanon from regional struggles.