Rahi criticizes naturalization decree, says it contradicts the preamble of constitution

Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Beshara Boutros Rahi criticized Sunday the naturalization decree, saying "it contradicts with the preamble of the Lebanese Constitution, which categorically and clearly stipulates that there will be no division or resettlement."

In his sermon during Mass service in Bkirki this morning, Rahi stressed that Lebanese citizenship should be granted to those of Lebanese origin only.

"How can we accept such approach when the Foreign and Interior Ministries leave thousands of cases of people of Lebanese origin seeking to restore their nationality unattended?" Rahi wondered.

Commenting on the controversial file of the Syrian refugees, the Prelate considered that "the main problem lies in the attitude of the international community which does not encourage the return of these refugees to Syria, triggering their fears of said return."

In this context, Rahi revealed that he conveyed his deep concerns to French President Emmanuel Macaron, asking him to "separate the political situation in their country [Syria] from the returning policy, while guaranteeing refugees' right to citizenship instead of practicing the intimidation policy on them."

Finally, Rahi asserted that foreign countries and Lebanese officials are both calling for serious reforms and fighting corruption in ministries and public administrations in Lebanon.

Source: National News Agency