BEIRUT — "Let no one think they can control Lebanon with their weapons," head of the Maronite Church Bechara al-Rai said in a speech Thursday in yet another dig at Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian party often derided by the prelate.
"We cannot exclude any component in Lebanon. Let no one think they can control the country with their weapons," said the patriarch at a religious celebration during his visit to Deir al-Ahmar, in the Bekaa Valley. "We must rise above disagreements, disputes and enmities," he added, according to our correspondent in the area.
The patriarch regularly criticizes Hezbollah and its arsenal in his speeches. As the country is in the midst of a presidential election to find a successor to the current head of state Michel Aoun, the prelate has suggested they would support a candidate who is non-confrontational toward Hezbollah, but who is also not from the party's orbit.
Reporting contributed by Sarah Abdallah