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Sfeir: Protests Never Resolved Problem

Retrieved from Naharnet on December 1, 2006

 Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir has criticized threats to stage protests "which have never been a way to

 resolve any problem".

 "We can only resolve matters through honest and sincere dialogue," he told hundreds of black-clad

 widows, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends of assassinated leaders from the anti-Syrian ruling

 majority Thursday afternoon at Bkirki, the seat of the Maronite patriarchate northeast of Beirut.


 "We don't see that strikes, demonstrations and street protests can solve the problems, but rather

 complicate them," Sfeir told the crowd which begged for peace and stability in Lebanon.


 "Street protests will only bring (counter) street protests … and we will have a collision, without knowing

 how it will end," Sfeir said.


 "We are fed up of assassinations and deaths and clashes among the Lebanese," Sfeir said. "What

 distinguishes Lebanon is the fact that 18 sects from all religions coexist. This makes Lebanon exceptional

 because Muslims and Christians live side by side … and it shall remain like that."


 "Our problems can only be solved through dialogue," Sfeir concluded.


 During the protest, the mother of slain Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, Joyce, called on all Christians to

 refrain from taking part in the demonstration called by Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.


 "Any Christian who demonstrates on Friday will be digging Lebanon's grave," she said to loud applause.