Mikati reassured after meeting with Rai

Following his Friday meeting with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai in Dimane, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said that he was “very relieved and reassured by the Patriarch’s wisdom.”

Mikati also said that he does not think that the Patriarch will retract his statements because they were spoken out of conviction.

The patriarch has faced criticism by some figures of the Western-backed March 14 coalition after his recent statements in France supporting the Syrian regime and Hezbollah’s arms.

MTV reported that “Mikati confirmed to the patriarch that he is committed to Lebanon’s obligations to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)” probing the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

“The PM told the patriarch that STL funding is very important for Lebanon regardless of some parties’ opinions on it,” the station added.

The Hezbollah-led March 8 parties – which currently dominate Lebanon’s cabinet – have opposed a clause in the Lebanese annual state budget pertaining to the funding of the tribunal, which is investigating into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Lebanon contributes 49 percent of the STL’s annual funding.

In June the UN-backed court indicted four members of Hezbollah for the murder of Hariri. However, the Shia group strongly denied the charges and refused to cooperate with the court.

-NOW Lebanon