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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow Maronite Patriarch Rai to EF: Lebanon's Roots+Mission can be ReBorn by its People+World Community

Maronite Patriarch Rai to EF: Lebanon's Roots+Mission can be ReBorn by its People+World Community

Geschrieben von ACM
Sonntag, 04 Juli 2021
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/(Embargoed since 2/7/2021)- Replying to an "Eurofora" Question at a Video-Press Conference organized by "Oeuvre d' Orient" just after a Series of Exceptional High-Level Meetings at the Vatican, in Rome, with Pope Francis a.o., the Religious Leader of Maronite Chistians, (Historicaly Headquartered at the Lebanese Mountains), Boutros al-Rai, unvealed a Vibrant Belief for Lebanon's Capacity to be ReStructured and Saved from the Current Serious Crisis, thanks to its Solid Foundations and Deep Roots in History, as well as its Mission for the Middle East area and even the World, as he interestingly Highlighted, referring also to Pope Francis' latest Calls, (See Infra).

    Rai Described, Earlier, that those "Consultation" Meetings, that Pope Francis had Invited under the Name of "Reflexions on Lebanon", were mainly Composed by 3 Key-Parts of Presentations, (1) of the Current Political Situation, by the Catholic ArchiBishop, (2) of the Role and Engagement of the Christian Community for Lebanon, described by Rai himself, and (3) of the General Situation, by the Greek-Latins' Head, Followed by a landmark Speech by the Holy Father himself, (Giving us a "Complete RoadMap" for the ReVival of the Country, that we needed, "Encourgaging" and filling us with "Hope", Because it was "Wonderful" and "Prophetic", as Rai Enthousiaticaly felt, at his Return Back Home : See also Infra).

    The Organiser of Today's Press Conference, Experienced Mgr Pascal Gollnish, Director General of "Oeuvre d' Orient" ("Eastern Works"), a landmark 160 Years-Old Humanitarian Organisation, Founded on 1.856, (which had Started, precisely, by a Project to Help the current Lebanon's area, already then, Extending Afterwards to All Middle East, and Eastern Countries, including Asia, up to India, etc), had Invited Journalists, including "Eurofora", in order to take the pulse of the Current Realities, Since the 2020 Huge Explosion at Beirut's SeaPort, and the Governemental Crisis Before or After that, compared with the Historic but mostly Future-Oriented Approach of Both Pope Francis and the Spiritual Head of the Historic and influential Maronite Christian Community, notoriously Headquartered mainly on the splendid Mountains of the Country, where it reportedly represents Nowadays about 800.000 of Faithful, But has a very Strong "Diaspora", mainly in Europe, (France, Cyprus, etc), composed of almost 4 Millions of People, closely networked.

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-"Even if the Roots of Lebanese People are More Ancient, it's, notoriously, the Historic Peace Treaty of Sevres, on 1920-1921, which led to set up a Lebanese State, and Now is its over-Centenary Anniversary", "Eurofora" Observed from the outset, in our Question, - Obiously referring Also to that Key Central Part of Ancient Phoenicia, a Naval Netwok which Controled the Middle of the Mediterranean Sea, throughout Cyprus, Malta, Tunisia and Gibraltar areas, Contributed to the Creation of largely circulating Greek Alphabet (the English or French of Ancient Civilisations), the Legend of Europe, etc.

- But, "do You Believe that it's really Possible to SaveGuard the Unity of the Libanese People Nowadays, Despite of, and/or Because of the Recent Exceptional Difficulties, also given Your Optimism and Voluntarism, in order to have a Solid United State in the foreseable Future ?", We Asked Patriarch Boutros al-Rai.

- "This Question is Today even More Important, Not Only for Lebanon alone, but Also Because, currently, several Countries, (including Small but Strategic, Neighbouring Cyprus, where Many Maronite Christians are Traditionaly living, Facing Recently a Turkish Demand to Drop All UN SC Resolutions for a Peaceful ReUnification of the Island in order to Impose a Secessionist " Sovereign States" Partition, [See : ..., etc], but also Other States in that Region, or Elsewhere in the World), are Facing more or less Similar Challenges, Provoked by some, in one way or another", We pointed out, while Wishing him "Good Lack" for his Efforts.

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    - "Thank You", Maronite Christian Patriarch Boutros al-Rai, started to Reply to "Eurofora"s question : - "I am well Aware of the Current Difficulties for the ReConstuction of the Country", he stressed. But, "for Us, the Most Important are the Roots : The Roots which are Untouchable and Still Always there", he stressed.

    - "These are the Foundations of the Country, its Basement, which have Not been Harmed". On the Contrary, "whatever is Now that (2020) Crisis, is an Epiphenomenon, over our Current Situation", Rai Distinguished.

    => "That"s why, the Pope (Francis) Cited, in his Speach, "Lebanon's Symbol, the Cedar", saying that "the Branches are Growing Higher, where there are Deep Roots".
 

    >>> So, "We must Work Together with All the Lebanese People, and Not Only the Lebanese People : There is, Also, the International Community. With those Countries who interfere in the Libanese Issue. In order to Tell them, that We Must Work Together, in order to Save this Country, given its Values, for the whole Region", underlined the Spiritual Leader of the Strategicaly-Located and Only Country which, inter alia, has, Notoriously, Succeeded to Welcome Various Refugees from Syria and elsewhere, withOut Closing them inside Barbed Wire-covered "Camps", (as, f.ex., Turkey, at least "Initialy", etc), But Living mainly Together, Side by side, with the Local, Original Autochthon Population...

    + "And, also Myself, Despite Everything, I have the Hope that We Can Do something, Emerging from the Interior" of Lebanon, he naturaly added. "From All Components of the Country : Either Muslims, Or Christians".

    - "I Know that there are Many Difficulties. These Internal Difficulties, Political, Social, Communautarism, brought the Country in a Dramatic Situation" Now. (i.e., particularly Starting since Already Before the 2020 huge Explosion, inter alia, f.ex., reportedly : No properly Elected Government, a Currency which Lost about 90% of its value vis-a-vis the US Dollar $, near 50% of the People thrown Under the Poverty line, Electricity Problems, Security Threats, Popular UnRest, etc).  "But We Must Innovate and are Called to Work !".

     => "That's why I Reply to You, that, with Great Hopes, We are going to Re-Start the ReConstruction of this Country !", Boutros al-Rai Firmly Stressed.

    >>> "Why ? I Repeat : Because there are Foundations : It's Not an "Ab Novo" Creation of the Country. It's a Re-Structuring. A ReNovation of the Country. Lebanon has, Since its Establisment, Back on 1920 (i.e. after Sevres' Treaty : Comp. Supra), Up to 1975, was Nick-Named : -"Switzerland of the East"..., he Reminded. "There was Prosperity, Money, Development, Openings to All Countries. Because it was Founded on Solid Basis, Thanks to the French Mandate, (by the nearby Geneva-Based "League of Nations", Before New-York-Based "UNO"). That's Why we Can Recover".

    - Nowadays, "Lebanon is Sick. When there is Ilness, You Can Recover, You Cooperate with a Medical Doctor, in order to Find anew your Health. It's Not True that Lebanon would be Dead. It's Not Dead. It's Sick. Seriously Sick. But we Can Save it !", he Resumed, in a NutShell. "That's what I can Tell You, being Fully Convinced".  

    + "And what we have Seen and Heard from the Holy Father, (Pope Francis), and his Collaborators, (these Days at the Vatican, in Rome), Showed to us, that Lebanon is Needed, for the Middle-East Region, and Even the World, thanks to the Message and the Mission it Supports", the Spiritual Leader of the Strategicaly located Country of the Famous "Eternal Cedar" Majestic Mountainous Tree, Widely Concluded, including the manifold, Larger Issues at Stake, from the Ancient Phoenicians, to the Post-1920 Lebanese Key Crossroads, (allmost Meeting a Core-part of what "Eurofora" had Evoked, at the Beginning and the End of Our Question : Comp. Supra).

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    Indeed, at the End of Today's Press Conference, Patriarch Boutros al-Rai Stressed that he felt Necesay to Free Lebanon from some Foreign Interferences which Risked to Damage its Historic "Mission", to be a Pluralist and Open Democratic Country in the Middle East, for Both Christians and Muslims Together, without whom its Original Identity would Not Exist, as he Warned.

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    - Mgr Pascal Gollnish observed, reacting on that Key point, that, in Fact, Nowadays, "Lebanon is the Only Country in the Middle East which has a Full Religious Freedom : There is Not any Other like that, in this area", he found.

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    >>> Significantly, Pope Francis' above-mentioned Landmark Speech, during the recent Ecumenical Vatican Meetings on Lebanon, (Comp. Supra), devoted to "Plans for Peace, Together for Lebanon", calls the Country "a Singular experience of Peaceful CoSxistence", in addition tion to "a treasury of Civilization and spirituality that has radiated wisdom and culture down the Centuries", as "a Small, yet Great Country" with "a Universal Message of Peace and Fraternity, arising from the Middle East". "Lebanon is, and must remain, a Project of Peace. Its vocation is to be a land of Tolerance and Pluralism, an Oasis of Fraternity where Different Religions and confessions Meet, where different Communities Live Together, putting the Common Good" Above all, he stressed, (after Criticizing "the Mistakes that we have made", and "the Opportunities that we have Missed, along the Path to Fraternity, ReConciliation and Unity").

    => "Stop Using Lebanon and the Middle East for Outside Interests and Profits ! The Lebanese People must be given the Opportunity to be the Architects of a better Future in their land, withOut Undue Interference", Pope Francis urged.

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    -"The Symbol of the Country : ...Tall Cedars, evoke ... a Unique History", and "that Large Branches can only Grow from Deep Roots", he reminded, pointing at "those ...who saw in Diversity Not Obstacles, but Possibilities, and could, thus, Build Common Foundations". For that purpose, "Sink your Roots in their Dreams of Peace !", the Holy Father called the Lebanese. "Recently, we Realized, "that we canNot Save ourselves Alone or remain Indifferent to the Problems of Others". That "there canNot be Peace withOut Justice", he said. While "Christians, today,... wish to ...Build a Future Together", "called to be Sowers of Peace, and Builders of Fraternity", since "God ...is a Father who Desires his Children to live in Peace". I.e. "Ensuring our Muslim Brothers and Sisters, and those of Other Religions, of (Christians') openness and readiness to Work Together in building Fraternity and promoting Peace", "Despite the Misunderstandings and Hurts of the Past", but "journeying From Conflict to Unity”, (as Francis has Recently Called, in his landmark Address to the InterReligious Meeting at the Plain of Ur, Abraham's Historic Home, during the pontifical Trip to Iraq : See ..., etc). "Hoping" for "concrete Initiatives under the aegis of Dialogue, of efforts to Educate, and of Solidarity". "In the Night of Crisis, ... remain United. Together, through honest Dialogue and Pure Intentions, we can Bring Light Where there is Darkness", he invitef.

    => Thus, the Lebanese "Citizens", would "Find in the Roots of (their) History, the Hope of a New Flowering". The "Political Leaders" should "Find Urgent and Durable Solutions, to the current Economic, Social and Political Crisis", and "the International Community" should "create conditions... so that the Country will Not Collapse, But embark upon a Path of Recovery", which "will be to Everyone's Advantage".

    As World-Famous Lebanese "Poet Gibran" had said : "Byond the Black Curtain of the Night, there is a Dawn, that Awaits us", topically reminded Pope Francis. In such a Context, "Young People are ...Lamps Burning Brightly at this Dark Hour... Before making important Decisions, ... Look to their Hopes and Dreams". "Women Generate Life and Hope ...May they be ...Included in Decision-making processes ". And "the Elderly ... are Our Roots, ...they Give us the Sense of History, the Foundations ... to carry Forward. They Desire to Dream, once More : ...Listen to their Voices, so that ...their Dreams may Become Prophecy", he suggested.  As that Poet said, "there is no other way to come to the Dawn than by passing Through the Night" : "May the Night of Conflicts recede before a New Dawn of Hope. May Hostilities Cease, Disagreements Fade away, and Lebanon, once more, Radiate the Light of Peace, Pope Francis concluded.

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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