At the opening of the first annual conference of the Levant meeting, the Lebanese President General Michel Aoun , in his speech “The Judaization of Jerusalem and its recognition as the capital of Israel, the expansion of Israeli settlements and racist legislations , leading to the overriding of the inviolability of recognized international borders are flagrant violations of all international laws and resolutions and a dangerous indication of what is being prepared”.
In his speech, Dr. Ramzi Khoury , Director General of the Palestinian National Fund and President of the higher Presidential Committee of Churches Affairs in the State of Palestine, stressed the importance of the conference and what it represents, “ Levant is more than a geographical area, it is an idea and a spirit, so it was throughout history and It must remain a future model for all humanity and a bright image of a culture of peace.
Let us share ideas, concerns and future aspirations to protect our religious and cultural diversity. Let us discuss our common issues in the light of our vision of the Middle East, the cradle of civilizations and religions, away from external interference in various forms.
We must confront oppression and obscurantism with the power of faith and martyrdom, and strengthening the forces of openness, moderation and constructive dialogue based on human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of worship and the practice of religious rituals.
As for occupied Jerusalem, which is the heart of the conflict, from this rostrum we cry for the Holy City, which is witnessing an unprecedented Israeli attack with unlimited American support, in a race against time to change its geography, heritage, monuments and living stones, the witnesses to its long history. The settlers’ daily attacks, with the protection and support of the occupation army, against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Churches, the clergy and bishops. Let us raise our voices from the minarets of our mosques and with the bells of our churches, against the evils and tyranny of the occupation, to save the city of Jerusalem and its Christian and Islamic holy places.
The Higher Presidential Committee of Churches Affairs in Palestine, which represent all strata of Palestinian society, work to establish the authentic Christian presence in our homeland Palestine, and preserve its identity and preserve its dignity, and to protect the Palestinian social fabric by preventing the forces of intolerance from reaching its obscurantist goals. We stand beside the progressive and patriotic forces of our society for a bright and promising tomorrow, and to build civil and democratic societies.
For us, our Palestinian cause is the cause of the whole Arab nation and the cause of all the free people of the world. I therefore invite you, distinguished delegates, to exert every possible effort to break the Israeli siege imposed on the Holy City, to stop the attacks against it and to support its people by all available means, in order to make Jerusalem the capital of the State of Palestine, a city open for all.
We look forward for this conference to come up with a message of life, hope and coexistence for our peoples”.
At the conference , Dr. Ramzi Khoury was accompanied by Issa Kassissieh, Member of the Committee, Ambassador of Palestine to the Vatican. Ambassador Ammar Hijazi, Member of the committee, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs. Ambassador Manuel Hassassian . Ashraf Dabbour, Ambassador of Palestine to Lebanon . Amira Hanania, General Director of the committee. Father Ibrahim Faltas, Counselor of the Custody of the Holy Land.