PRESIDENT AOUN Receives Letter From Brazilian President, Underlines Commitment to Palestinian Cause

PRESIDENT AOUN Receives Letter From Brazilian President, Underlines Commitment to Palestinian Cause

14 Dec 2018

Lebanon - Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi said after his meeting this Friday with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace, that "the responsibility of the Republic does not lie exclusively on the President of the Republic. (...) We are all responsible."

"We stand by President Aoun because the president needs his people, especially at a stage where we can only say that the way the government formation issue is being tackled is wrong," said Rahi, stressing that "he who wants to delve into the political life ought to pay attention to public good."

President Aoun and Patriarch Rahi tackled the current political developments and the general situation in the country, with taks featuring high on the outcomes of Rahi's visit to Rome and the meeting he held with Pope Francis.

"The president cannot reach solutions alone, without the presence of the PM-designate. All the political parties and components in Lebanon have to shoulder their responsibilities," Rahi stressed in a chat with journalists.

On a different note, President Aoun met with the Brazilian Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Carlos Eduardo Xavier Maroun, on top of a delegation representing the outgoing President of the Republic of Brazil, Michel Tamer, in the presence of Brazil's Ambassador to Lebann, Paulo Cordero de Andrade Pinto.

Minister Maroun conveyed to President Aoun a message from outgoing President Michel Tamer expressing appreciation for the fruitful cooperation between the two of them during his term as president.

"This phase was filled with important steps towards the consolidation of bilateral relations between Brazil and Lebanon, where the city of Sao Paulo hosted the Latin American Summit titled 'Lebanese Diaspora Capacities' organized by the Lebanese government, and which I had the honor to take part in," said the Brazilian President.

"We have also worked to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of peace and security through the Brazilian contingent operating within the UNIFIL, in addition to the impetus we have given together for negotiations on the free trade agreement between Mercosur and Lebanon," he said in his letter to Aoun, uttering "heartfelt wishes to Lebanon, the land of my ancestors."

Minister Maroun, in turn, pointed at his Lebanese roots, telling his host that his grandfather was the son of Ghazir.

"This makes me very happy today as I meet the President of the Republic of Lebanon, the mother country of a large number of Brazilians of Lebanese origin," he said, shedding light on the "historic and deep-rooted relations between Lebanon and Brazil."

Maroun hoped President Aoun would attend the Brazilian President's inaugration ceremony in person, along with a Lebanese delegation.

He also stressed his country's support for the Free Trade Agreement between the countries of South America and Lebanon, which will be signed in March 2019 during the meeting of South American countries.

The minister then tackled the issue of military cooperation between Brazil and Lebanon, referring to a "defense agreement between the two countries signed by the Brazilian Minister of Defense."

"We will head immediately to the Ministry of Defense to obtain the signature of the Lebanese Defense Minister," he said, pointing at the "presence of a Brazilian frigate as part of the UN Interim Force in South Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Tackling the issue of Carlos Ghosn's arrest in Japan, Maroun said "the Brazilian Consulate in Tokyo is trying to help and support him."

President Aoun, in turn, highlighted the loyalty of Brazilians of Lebanese origin to their host country, Brazil, underlining their countless successes all the way through the presidency of the republic.

Aoun noted that he will dispatch one of the ministers to represent him "at the signing ceremony with the South American countries."

Tackling Carlos Ghosn's arrest, President Aoun said he was personally following up on the matter, revealing that he contacted the French president in this regard, given the fact that Ghosn carries the French citizenship next to the Lebanese and the Brazilian nationalities.

President Macron explained to Aoun that he had tasked three lawyers to defend Ghosn upon the issuance of the indictment.

On a different note, the President of the Republic welcomed a delegation representing the Global Coalition of the Unions of Jerusalem and Palestine, who thanked Aoun on his "positions in support of the Palestinian cause."

The Head-of-State welcomed the delegation, saying "The Palestinian cause is our cause. Al-Quds is home to both Christian and Islamic religious sites and it is not permissible to jeudaize it. The Palestinian people have the right to have a homeland."

"We are committed to defending Jerusalem, the Palestinian land and the Palestinian people," he affirmed.


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