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Rai reiterates controversial stance on Hezbollah arms
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai.
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BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai reiterated Monday his controversial position on Hezbollah’s arms, urging the international community to help implement U.N. resolutions in order to deny the party the pretext to maintain its weapons.

He spoke during a meeting with journalists accredited at the Maronite patriarchate in Bkirki, north of Beirut. Asked whether he supported Hezbollah’s disarmament, Rai said: “The subject should not be raised in this manner.

They ‘deliberately’ misunderstood me when I was in France. Some Lebanese unfortunately believe that all their problems are internal. Three quarters of our problems are abroad and one quarter is inside.

When we speak with foreigners, we speak with them about their duties toward us.” Rai said he had told foreign leaders that their duty as an international community was to help eliminate the causes that prompted Hezbollah to maintain its arms. Addressing the international community, Rai said: “You have a role to play.

If you don’t play it, you will not find a solution for [Hezbollah’s arms],” he said. Rai added that the issue of Hezbollah’s arms cannot be settled by asking the party to surrender its weapons. 

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 10, 2012, on page 3.
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