BEIRUT — Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai on Sunday again blamed Lebanese politicians for Lebanon's political and economic crisis that has been ongoing for more than three years.
As reported by the state-run National News Agency (NNA), during his Sunday sermon, Rai said "to the Lebanese MPs and political leaders, all this ruin lies on your heads and consciences because of your failure and arrogance."
"Our MPs and political officials can't continue to hear only the voices of their private and partisan interests and continue to demolish state institutions," Rai continued, blaming officials for the presidential vacuum, the suspension of all administrative nominations and the "spread of corruption in public administrations."
Rai also addressed the matter of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, urging politicians to "unite and conduct the necessary negotiations with Syria and the international community for the sake of the return of the Syrian refugees to their own country," adding, "They have become an increasing danger to our country."
The presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has repeatedly made headlines in recent weeks as political figures push for their repatriation.
The government estimates that Lebanon currently hosts approximately 1.5 million refugees from Syria, including approximately 815,000 registered with the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR.