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Wednesday, 25 June 2008 - His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Participated in the Spiritual Summit


His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Catholicos Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics participated in the spiritual summit that took place in the presidential palace in Baabda on the 24th of June 2008.

This summit between Muslim and Christian religious leaders, under the auspices of President Michel Suleiman, targets to boost national reconciliation.
Those attending the meeting represented most of Lebanon's 18 religious communities. The participants included Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir; Greek Orthodox Patriarch Igantius IV; Melchite Patriarch Gregorios III; Armenian Orthodox Catholicos Aram Kechichian; Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas; guardian of the Syriac Catholic Archdiocese in Lebanon Matti Mattoka; Chaldean Monsignor Michel Kassarji; Paul Dahdah, bishop of the Latin rite in Lebanon; Assyrian Archbishop Narsai Debaz; head of Coptic Church in Lebanon and Syria Metropolitan Philopateer Ava Bishoy; Reverend Selim Sehiun,head of the Evangelical Church in Syria and Lebanon; Sunni Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani; vice president of the Higher Shiite Council Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan; and Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Naim Hassan.


The Spiritual Summit stressed on the respect of Lebanon’s diversity, which is its distinctive mark, so that the country can remain a place for freedom
and dialogue, and can hold on to the constitutional principles as agreed upon in the Taif Agreement. In the same context, it stressed on the Lebanese holding to their national unity, to their country’s model of diversity and communal living, and to their awareness of this model’s importance.

President Michel Suleiman also delivered a speech at the end of the summit calling the gathering a launch pad for healing the wounds and dialogue.

After the meeting, a banquet was held to which Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Parlimentary Speaker Nabih Berri joined.  



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