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Maronite patriarch warns of 'complete collapse' in Lebanon

Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi speaks to the press following a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, at Baabda Palace in Beirut, Lebonan on 29 August, 2018 [Lebanese Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency]
Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi in Beirut, Lebonan on 29 August, 2018 [Lebanese Presidency Handout / Anadolu Agency]

Top Maronite cleric in Lebanon Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai warned on Friday of a "complete collapse" in the country due to the delay in forming the new government, Anadolu Agency reported.

In the New Year's sermon delivered at the Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Bkerke, north of Beirut, he announced: "No one or any group of the political spectrum, whether directly or indirectly involved, has the right to hinder the formation of the government for the sake of current or future accounts and interests."

He added: "More than 70 days have passed since task to form the government was issued, while Lebanon is moving rapidly towards complete collapse and bankruptcy."

Lebanon has been unable to form a new government since the caretaker government headed by Hassan Diab resigned six days after the Port of Beirut explosion on 4 August, when hundreds were killed and thousands left wounded.

Read: Lebanon's top Christian cleric urges politicians to form government

On 22 October, 2020, Lebanese President Michel Aoun tasked Saad Hariri to form a new government after the failure of Mustafa Adeeb to do so.

The delay in forming a government, according to the patriarch: "Is more comprehensive and a stronger destructive responsibility than destroying Beirut's port, demolishing half of the capital, and causing hundreds of innocent victims and thousands of homeless families."

He indicated that leaving the country without a government: "Has destructive effects on the entire population and the life of the entire state."

The patriarch pointed out that: "It is truly shameful that the new year starts while the government has not formed nor started its work."

Read: Hezbollah warns of possible war with Israel

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