Patriarch Sfeir has declared that the release of Lebanese Forces commander Samir Geagea from jail “is an imperative precondition” for a national reconciliation that lowers the curtain on the lingering legacy of Lebanon’s civil war. The head of the Maronite Church made the announcement to hundreds of LF activists who staged a march to Bkirki Sunday, marking the 10th anniversary of Geagea’s arrest and incarceration in solitary confinement at the Defense Ministry compound in Yarze, An Nahar reported Monday.
“The release of every political prisoner in Lebanon is an imperative precondition for a national reconciliation that we have so long been demanding,” Sfeir said from a balcony of the patriarchate overlooking the demonstrators, who waved Geagea portraits amidst a forest of LF flags.
Sfeir seized upon the occasion to cross lances with Gen. Aoun, who wondered in a recent Beirut TV interview whether the patriarch had given up on the demand for Syria’s exit from Lebanon.
“You have been told that the patriarch may have changed his views and stance. This is untrue,” Sfeir told the crowd. “Be sure that we are not from those who change their positions to adapt to fluctuating situations. Our stand is the same and you all know it.”