Jumblatt mourns Sfeir: An exceptional man in his modesty and magnanimity

Progressive Socialist Party Chief, Walid Jumblatt, spoke to LBCI this evening about the late Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, saying: "With Patriarch Sfeir, we embarked on the march of Independence, and he was an exceptional and humble figure. He perceived that the Syrian presence in all of Lebanon hindered reconciliation and his point of view was correct."

"The memory of Patriarch Sfeir is dear, for he was outstanding in his humility and nobility," added Jumblatt.

"Our relationship with Bkirki continues with the same glamour as in the days of Patriarch Sfeir and I do not see a different approach to Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rahi, but the circumstances today are tougher for us than back in 2005," the PSP Chief maintained.

He pointed out that "Patriarch Sfeir enjoyed a spirit of political humor that could penetrate all walls," adding, "There was a chemistry between us and Patriarch Sfeir which did not exist with others, and it is translated in most outlines."

"I am not an advocate of the Druze-Maronite partnership that was established in 1920, for Greater Lebanon was a result of an Islamic-Christian consensus," Jumblatt underlined. He expressed his regret for Cardinal Sfeir's passing away before the first centennial of the establishment of Greater Lebanon, saying, "If he were here to speak about this occasion, he might have emphasized the Islamic-Christian partnership since Lebanon can only soar high with its Muslim and Christian wings."

Jumblatt recalled that "there may have been a difference with Cardinal Sfeir when he refused to dismiss former President Emile Lahoud in the street, while we wanted to get rid of the symbol of the Syrian guardianship and not the Christian President in Baabda, but Sfeir was great in his views and vision of the future."

He confirmed that "all of Lebanon will be present Thursday at the farewell of Patriarch Sfeir." However, he expressed his regret for not being able to attend due to reasons of travel for special circumstances, noting that his son, Teymour, will represent him.

Responding to a question, Jumblatt said: "We hope that we can boost the State's presence everywhere and that the command on Lebanese territory would be for the army and security forces through dialogue between the Lebanese, and that the Shebaa farms issue would be dealt with calmly." He called herein for "settling the Lebanese identity of Shebaa Farms, since this identity was unanimously approved in 2006 by the Lebanese, and we have the right to establish its Lebanese belonging on the land and maritime borders through legal procedures by Syria."

At the economic level, Jumblatt said, "It is important that the efforts of the three leaders reach a real plan for austerity, since we cannot continue with the same channels of waste within the State."

"We oppose any harm to the middle and underprivileged classes," he asserted.

Jumblatt went on to say, "I fear for the country in light of this authority, even though I am part of it, due to the principle established by the Syrian guardianship that both the opposition and loyal sides are in the same ship, a practice that has brought us to this degree of deterioration."

Source: National News Agency