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Coexistence in peril because of Israel, extremists - Lebanon PM.

BEIRUT, Nov 7 (KUNA) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam said Friday coexistence among people with different religions in Lebanon and across the Middle East region faces two-pronged threat from the racist Zionist ideology of Israel and the Islamic extremists. "Any problem befalling Christians in Lebanon cannot be resolved except through joint efforts with Muslims, and vice versa," Salam said at the opening session of a conference entitled "Family and Challenges of the Current Era in the Middle East" this afternoon. The ideology of Zionists and 'Takfiris' (Muslim extremists who accuse other Muslims of apostasy) put in peril the coexistence long enjoyed by people with different religions in the region, he affirmed. Salam shed light on the unique diversity abundantly marking Lebanon and constituting a source of its wealth, according to Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA). He said: "Such diversity has permanently reflected the bright face of Lebanon, rendering it a unique experience in its surroundings and in the world." He urged the Lebanese Muslims and Arabs to work on the purification of their ranks and consecrating their moderate and open Islam, as well as to work with all their might to anchor Christians in their land, in order to preserve their presence and role in their communities. The Premier also implored the Lebanese Christians and Arabs to fully engage in drawing the fates of their communities and home countries, especially at this difficult historical. On the constitutional presidential electoral due date, Salam stressed that the presence of the president of the republic is a prerequisite for the completion of the constitutional structure of our constitutional hierarchy, saying "his absence is an abnormal deformation of our political life." Salam also considered that any delay in the completion of the presidential electoral operation constitutes harm to Lebanon. The conference was inaugurated at the International Center for Dialogue of Civilizations-Gathering in Rabweh by the Melkite Catholic Patriarch of the Antioch, All the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem, Gregory III Laham, and Head of the Episcopal Commission, Coordinator of Catholic Family Committees in the Middle East, Bishop Antoine Nabil Andari, in cooperation with the Vatican. It gathered, besides Premier Salam, heads of the oriental churches and the Islamic sects, as well as scores of political, spiritual, partisan, economic and social dignitaries. (end)

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Nov 8, 2014
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