President Michel Aoun meets Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in Bkirki, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (The Daily Star/Dalati & Nohra, HO)
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Comments made by President Michel Aoun during a trip to Bkirki Thursday led to a war of words with Speaker Nabih Berri, while Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai's remarks drew the ire of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council.Aoun and allies had boycotted presidential elections for nearly two and half years before Aoun secured victory and was elected Oct. 31 .Aoun was told by Rai that now was his chance to fully implement the Taif Accord by agreeing on a new electoral law that ensures the representation of all Lebanese and is capable of holding those in power responsible.Rai called on all Lebanese to live by the words of Lebanon's first Patriarch Elias Hoayek, whom he called the "Father of Lebanon". Rai also quoted another former Lebanese patriarch to stress that Bkirki was for all Lebanese, not just one sect.Aoun echoed Rai in stressing the need for Lebanon to respect and follow Patriarch Elias Hoayek's motto of coexistence.
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