Bush Welcomes Maronite Leader

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- President George Bush met with Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, a strong critic of Syria’s control in Lebanon, and reaffirmed that Damascus must withdraw its troops and agents from that country.

“I assured His Eminence that United States policy is to work with friends and allies to insist that Syria completely leave Lebanon, Syria take all her troops out of Lebanon, Syria take her intelligence services out of Lebanon, so that the election process will be free and fair,” Bush said today, Agence France-Presse reported.

Cardinal Sfeir, a leader of the Maronite-rite Church, said he hopes for “a free, independent, pluralistic and sovereign Lebanon.”