Mutual expressions of grave concern on Syria by H.E. Sheikh Abdul-Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council, and H.B. Cardinal Beshara al-Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch to the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, David Hale.
Article from The Daily Star Lebanon 10/09/2013
Dahiyeh Car Bombing
Above: H.B. Cardinal Beshara al-Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch offers his sympathy to H.E. Sheikh Abdul-Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council at a condolence ceremony for the victims of the Dahiyeh car bombing that ripped through a Beirut suburb on the 15th of August last and caused the deaths of 27 people leaving more than 300 wounded. The death toll from the bombing was the highest seen in Lebanon since 2005. Photo Maronite Patriarchate Bkerke.
Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul-Amir Qabalan handed a letter to newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale Tuesday asking Washington to support a political solution to the Syria crisis.
Qabalan’s letter asked the U.S. “to support a political solution in Syria through dialogue between the conflicting parties and at a distance from military solutions which will have repercussions on the region.”
"When America acts for peace, justice and equality, it will be stronger than engaging in wars that would complicate the issues and America should preserve the blood of Syrians,” the letter said according to the National News Agency.
Qabalan wished Hale luck in his mission and hoped the new envoy would work on creating peace in Lebanon and the region and be fair with the oppressed.
He asked Washington to work on giving people their freedom in Syria by refraining from supporting radical Islamists and criminals who are killing innocent people and violating their freedoms.
Qabalan’s letter also spoke about Israel's treatment of Palestinians, saying: "Israel is practicing terrorism against the Palestinians as it occupies their land, forces the Palestinian people out of their homes to build its settlements."
"The solution to the Palestinian issue is through the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and the creation of an independent Palestinian state,” the letter read. Hale said Tuesday that Beirut must remain neutral from the crisis in Syria during a meeting with caretaker Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi, the state-run National News Agency said.
Hale and Safadi discussed the economic and financial situation in Lebanon and assistance the government needs to cope with the growing number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The agency said Hale renewed Washington’s support for Lebanon and its institutions, particularly the Lebanese Army.
Following talks in Beirut Hale traveled to Diman, the seat of the Maronite Church in north Lebanon, for a meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai.
During the meeting, Rai told Hale that the Maronite church rejected all forms of violence, killing, terrorism and kidnapping and supported peaceful means to resolve conflicts. "Rejecting war does not mean supporting any side of the conflict in Syria or any other country in the region," Rai said, according to the NNA. The patriarch also touched on the abduction of two Syrian bishops earlier this year and the recent "desecration of holy sites, [and attack on] worshipers and Christians in particular in Maaloula, Blodan and other areas." Rai stressed on the importance of preserving the presence of Christians in the Middle East. Original article here