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Patriarch Says Lebanese No Longer Need Syrian Trusteeship

Naharnet/Beirut, 26 Mar 05, 11:47

Patriarch Sfeir has said the time had come for the Lebanese to "show the whole world that they have come out from the trusteeship" of Syria and can rule themselves by themselves.

"We have reached a crucial stage that may give us salvation if we band together, unify our vision and stride confidently into the future," the head of the Maronite Church said in a nationally televised Good Friday message.


"The Lebanese are called upon to unite to build the new Lebanon," Sfeir said of the era after Syria's final evacuation of Lebanon. "Those who wager that the Lebanese will eventually disunite are wrong. They will not disunite despite those who plant explosives on their land and in front of their houses and shops."


The patriarch said the recent bombing attacks in the Christian heartland townships of New Jdeideh and Kaslik would not "terrorize or intimidate" the Lebanese.


The opposition had blamed pro-Syrians of staging these bombings to show that Syria was still needed to preserve Lebanon's security and stability.