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The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
09:32 PM Beirut time
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Rai: Dead soldiers victims of 'security by consensus'
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai. (The Daily Star)
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai. (The Daily Star)
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BEIRUT: Cardinal Beshara Rai said Sunday the two soldiers who were killed in ambush are victims of the country’s “security by consensus,” urging the government to resolve once and for all the proliferation of illegal arms.

"Today we remember in our prayers the two Lebanese Army martyrs Pierre Bashalani and Ibrahim Zahraman who were martyred in the Bekaa town of Arsal the day before yesterday while doing their sacred duty in the service of justice ... they are, unfortunately, victims of security by consensus,” Rai said during his Sunday sermon at Bkirki.

He held political figures responsible for their deaths and all other attacks on the military.

Two soldiers were killed Friday in an ambush on a military patrol that was attempting to apprehend a man wanted “for several terrorist acts.”

According to the Army, several gunmen and other soldiers were also wounded in the fighting.

Rai also said a sound economic plan for the country is needed and should be preceded by resolving security-related manners.

“Security should be fortified by removing all hotbeds of illegal arms and the idea of security by consensus as well as prohibiting all acts of riots including road blocking, occupying public and private property, threatening foreign and domestic economic interests, useless open-ended strike and the phenomenon of kidnappings,” he said.

“This social and security stability would then the offer the appropriate framework for the economy with all its sectors to become active and productive to attract foreign investments and encourage regional and international tourism,” he added.

He reiterated his call for the government to put forward what he described as a salvation plan to strengthen and revitalize the national economy “by transitioning from a decline in development to sustainable progress that would generate jobs for the youth.”

He also said that economy should not be politicized and that all economic-related decisions should be made “at a distance from personal and party interests.”

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