By Reuters Staff
FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai speaks after meeting with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon July 15, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Those dragging Lebanon into regional conflicts were not acting in its best interests, the country’s top Christian cleric said, in unusually direct comments that appeared to refer to Hezbollah.
“I want to tell them … Do you want to force (Lebanon) to go to war? Are you asking before you go to war? Before you go to Syria? … You’re not looking out for the interest of your people,” Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said in a video circulated by local media on Thursday.
Rai has called for Lebanon to remain neutral, referring to Hezbollah’s role fighting in neighbouring Syria to support Damascus and its alliance with Iran in regional conflicts.
Reporting by Laila Ellen Francis; Editing by Catherine Evans
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