Maronite Patriarch Appeals for End of Syrian Tutelage

BEIRUT, Lebanon, MAR. 28, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Some 100,000 Lebanese gave a triumphal welcome Tuesday in Bkerke, north of Beirut, to Maronite Catholic Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir. The patriarch was returning from a trip to the United States where he appealed for an end to Syrian tutelage over Lebanon, Agence France-Presse reported.

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Last Sept. 20 the Maronite episcopate requested the gradual withdrawal of Syrian soldiers deployed in Lebanon since 1976. These soldiers now number 35,000. Lebanese President Emil Lahud said the Syrian military presence is «legal, necessary and temporal.»

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