Lebanon’s Maronite Leader Wraps up ‘Historic’ Visit to Druze Areas
Lebanon’s Maronite leader, Nasrallah Sfeir, on Sunday finished a "historic" visit to the Chouf and Jezzine areas, home of the Druze community.
“Postwar reconciliation has largely taken place,” he said, but added that a “complete recovery requires full sovereignty,” the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
Sfeir was the first patriarch to visit the Druze areas in 200 years.
Sfeir's tour of the area included an “emotional” reception at the home of Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, and a stop in Jezzine on Saturday.
On Sunday, the patriarch conducted a morning Mass in Deir Al Qamar and ended the trip with a winding trek across the back roads of the Chouf, visiting Maronite towns in Aley before returning to his residence, said the paper.
For his part, Jumblatt insisted that the “era of Druze and Christians, each controlling a separate enclave in Mount Lebanon," was over.
"Greater Lebanon, which you helped build ... calls for a national, comprehensive unity that takes each region's characteristics into consideration," he told Sfeir during a welcoming speech.
Christians and Druze have undergone a troubled co-existence, marked by outbursts of intense violence since 1860, when Mount Lebanon was under Ottoman administration, and the massacre of Christians prompted intervention by the then-major world powers -- Britain, France and Russia.
They imposed upon the Turks an autonomous status for Mount Lebanon, leading to the creation of the modern state of Lebanon – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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