His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, visited Dr. Samir Geagea, Head of the Lebanese Forces Party, at his residence in Me’rab.
They were accompanied by His Eminence Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Syriac Orthodox Patrairchal Vicar in Zahleh and Beqaa, His Excellency Mor Baselius Gergess Kass Moussa, Patriarchal Assistant and Apostolic Visitor of the Syriac Catholic, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Rev. Fr. Habib Mrad, Syriac Catholic Patriarchal Secretary.
His Beatitude said that “we are sad because we are not considered as citizens of the same class as others, since we do not have the parliamentary representation that reflects our integration and role in Lebanon. We have offered a lot of sacrifices for the sake of Lebanon, but we are still called a ‘minority’.
His Holiness demanded to have two distinct parliament seats for the Syriac Orthodox and the Syriac Catholic. He added that such a step will strengthen the position of Christians in general in the entire Middle East, especially in areas where they are suffering from persecution and terrorist attacks.
Dr. Samir Geagea assured the two patriarchs that the Lebanese Forces refuse the categorization of Syriac Christians as ‘minorities’ and wished to support Christians that come from Iraq and Syria to stay in Lebanon and form a stronger presence along with the Lebanese Christians.
They also spoke about the historical link between the Syriac and Lebanon.