Pope Francis' priority: The Vatican's 'hidden hand' in Lebanese crisis resolution

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2023-09-14 | 23:22
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Pope Francis' priority: The Vatican's 'hidden hand' in Lebanese crisis resolution
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Pope Francis' priority: The Vatican's 'hidden hand' in Lebanese crisis resolution

The Vatican's current approach to the Lebanese issue is based on a unique model of diversity. What is most important is its ability to "resurrect whenever it and its homeland face catastrophes and tragedies," according to a seasoned diplomat who has just returned from Rome. 

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan. 

He adds emphatically, "Anyone who thinks that Lebanon is not a priority for His Holiness Pope Francis is mistaken; it is always present in his silent diplomacy."

The source told Nidaa al-Watan that since before President Michel Aoun's term ended, the Apostolic See has been actively engaged through its ambassadors in countries with direct influence on the Lebanese issue, forming a clear picture of the crisis. 

"Contrary to all that was rumored that it was a regime crisis, it turned out to be a crisis of leadership and non-implementation of the constitution," the source added.

"The Vatican, in light of this, has defined a realistic path to address the crisis and has taken steps that have remained out of the spotlight, but undoubtedly, they will yield positive results soon."

The source recalls, "The visit that the Apostolic See dedicated to the Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, included a lengthy meeting with Secretary of State of Vatican City, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who listened to a detailed presentation on all the key issues, most notably the Syrian refugee file, which the Vatican saw differently in terms of its risks, as well as Lebanon's natural role in the region and the world, in addition to solutions for other crises. The Commander's approach left a special impression on Parolin."

What's new from the Vatican in the coming days?

The source reveals "a surprise for the political forces in Lebanon, which is a meeting in September that will be held in the coming days, chaired by Cardinal Parolin and attended by representatives from major countries."  

"They will discuss hot topics in the world, especially the Ukrainian war and the situation in the Middle East. The Lebanese issue will have its place in the meeting, with an approach that the solution to the crisis in Lebanon lies in electing a unifying and independent President capable of bringing all parties together," it added.

It also affirmed: "It is high time to resolve this issue and end the presidency vacuum. It is not unlikely that the representatives of major countries will hear a specific proposal for the presidency, especially since there is only one name that has convinced the Vatican, and the Vatican will not delay in presenting it, as the internal Lebanese 'deficit' is ongoing."

The source emphasizes, "The path to a solution for the presidential crisis has begun, and there is an international determination not to continue in a futile circle, especially as there is internal deliberate obstruction of all proposed solutions driven by personal ambitions and narrow calculations that are unlikely to produce any solutions at a time when Lebanon is going through the most dangerous phase in its history, facing existential threats."
 

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