Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai calls for international meeting to save Lebanon

Church leader is campaigning for action to end political stagnation amid multiple crises

FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai speaks after meeting with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon July 15, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY/File Photo

The head of Lebanon's influential Maronite Church called for a UN-sponsored international conference to "save" the country and ensure the rise of a sovereign, independent and civil state.

Patriarch Bechara Rai called on Saturday for Lebanon to officially embrace neutrality, in veiled criticism of Iran-backed armed Lebanese group Hezbollah, which the US classifies as a terrorist organisation.

Cardinal Rai was addressing thousands of supporters that gathered at Bkirki, the seat of the Maronite church, to show support for his initiative.

His campaign for an international conference was opposed by Hezbollah, whose leader recently labeled calls to internationalise the Lebanese crisis a violation of sovereignty and an invitation to potential occupation and future conflicts.

The patriarch, however, appeared unmoved, doubling down on his comments and urging the Lebanese to speak up and to demand state monopoly over possession of weapons.

“History has proven that every time Lebanon sided with any axis, we witnessed divisions, and wars broke out…the goal behind Lebanon’s foundation is to create a neutral entity in this East that forms a bridge between East and West,” he said.

Cardinal Rai, who held meetings with Arab and European diplomats before Saturday's rally, appealed to the international community to provide support for the Lebanese army and to empower the Lebanese state to exercise sovereignty over its territory.

He criticised Lebanon's political leaders for failing to seek a solution to the political paralysis that has left the country without a government since an explosion shook Beirut last August, killing more than 200 people and wreaking havoc in the capital.

The international community has urged the country’s political leaders to form a Cabinet of experts committed to the implementation of reforms in exchange for financial aid to help Lebanon weather a financial meltdown.

But Hezbollah’s growing grip over the government and political bickering against the backdrop of rising tensions between Tehran and the US and its regional allies has blocked the formation of a government and undermined Lebanon’s ties with traditional Arab allies who have long provided the tiny Mediterranean country with financial support.

Cardinal Rai's appeal won support from parties that once formed the now-defunct March 14 alliance which led the campaign for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in 2005.

Bkirki was the driver behind the alliance that emerged following the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, for which an international tribunal convicted a member of Hezbollah of involvement.

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

Can NRIs vote in the election?

Indians residing overseas cannot cast their ballot abroad

Non-resident Indians or NRIs can vote only by going to a polling booth in their home constituency

There are about 3.1 million NRIs living overseas

Indians have urged political parties to extend the right to vote to citizens residing overseas

A committee of the Election Commission of India approved of proxy voting for non-resident Indians

Proxy voting means that a person can authorise someone residing in the same polling booth area to cast a vote on his behalf.

This option is currently available for the armed forces, police and government officials posted outside India

A bill was passed in the lower house of India’s parliament or the Lok Sabha to extend proxy voting to non-resident Indians

However, this did not come before the upper house or Rajya Sabha and has lapsed

The issue of NRI voting draws a huge amount of interest in India and overseas

Over the past few months, Indians have received messages on mobile phones and on social media claiming that NRIs can cast their votes online

The Election Commission of India then clarified that NRIs could not vote online

The Election Commission lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police asking it to clamp down on the people spreading misinformation

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England ODI squad

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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