BEIRUT: Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called Sunday for unity between Lebanon’s Christians and Muslims, accusing Israel of fueling inter-Arab conflicts to protect its security, the National News Agency reported.
“We should be aware as Lebanese, that our source of strength lies in our unity as Muslims and Christians,” he said during an Iftar joining expatriates and religious figures of Lebanese origins in Brazil.
Bassil said that there is an intention to divide the Lebanese between Muslims and Christians and create rivalry among them, stressing “the importance and essentiality of Lebanese unity.”
He accused Israel of fueling tensions among Arabs and Muslims to separate them into warring factions, and thus to alienate itself from the conflict.
“The separation poses a danger that cannot be contained. Whenever it starts somewhere, it doesn’t stop, and reaches the whole region.”
Bassil also met the Mayor of Sao Paolo Fernando Haddad, who is of Lebanese descent, with whom he discussed the possibility of joint projects between the Brazilian city and Lebanon.
Separately, Bassil made comments advocating the Lebanese expatriates’ right to vote in parliamentary elections and called for a wide participation of the Lebanese expatriate community in the the energy conference in February 2015. His comments came at a reception event organized by the Lebanese consul in Sao Paulo Qabalan Frangieh that was attended by citizens and officials of Lebanese origins.
He also launched the social media project Lebanon Connect, which aims at establishing stronger connections and facilitating communication between expatriates and their counterparts in Lebanon.