Beirut, Lebanon , Naharnet - Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on the occasion of the conclusion of the Synod held in Rome under Pope Benedict XVI that maintaining Christian presence in the Middle East is "wealth for Arabism and Islam."
"The Vatican's call to hold a special assembly to discuss the situation of the Christians in the East is a positive and constructive initiative, because it aims to address the situation of the Christian communities in the countries of the Middle East, which have been witnessing for the last few decades a decline in their presence due to various factors," Hariri said.
"Complying with the results of the synod is the duty of every Arab and Muslim, because preserving such firmly implanted and historically deep-rooted presence in the Arab and Muslim societies is wealth for Arabism and Islam and for the crucial issues facing us, primarily the Palestinian issue," he added in a statement.
"In addition to the fact that Christian thinkers enriched the Arab national thought and were pioneers of Arab renaissance, their participation in confronting the Zionist scheme is a necessity so that the Muslims don't stay alone in the confrontation and so that Arabism does not remain restricted to Islam.
"Moreover, coexistence over the generations proved its success and usefulness. And the attachment to it at this particular time where there is a dire need for dialogue and convergence of religions and cultures has to be translated into an atmosphere that would sooth the Christians and keep them from emigrating from the region which is considered the cradle of monotheistic religions.
"Lebanon is the country of dialogue and convergence. It is the model which the diversified communities aspire to. This requires protecting and preserving the Lebanese formula in a way that serves not only the values, but also the interests of everyone in the Middle East and the world, because a stable Lebanon is a living proof of the success of religious diversity and the benefit of cultural exchanges and mutual contributions in a way that serves world civilization."