Riachy calls on Egyptians to ring bells, raise prayer calls against terrorism

NNA – Minister of Information Melhem Riachy called, on Sunday, upon “Muslim and Christian brethrens in Egypt to ring church bells and raise prayer calls against terrorism, in order to affirm the will of peace and reveal it as a message to the West.”

“What happened in Egypt today is part of the bloody and ignorant violence in the region,” said Riachy, pointing to “a positive aspect to this violence evident in the closeness of Muslims and Christians, because both Islamic and Christian religions renounce violence.”

Speaking in an interview to “New TV” Channel Station, Riachy stressed on “insistence not to demonize Muslims in Egypt or any other region, as well as Christians,” adding that “this needs more dialogue,” and that “the role of Lebanon is undertaking such dialogue.”

Regarding the situation in Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp, Riachy deemed that it was “not out of control,” praising the Army’s awareness while referring to what is going on in the camp as “rearranging the Palestinian situation.”

Over Monday’s cabinet session, Riachy said: “This is a meeting to discuss the election law, to remove Lebanon from the bottle neck.” He reiterated his rejection of the “60’s Law” while stressing on “the need to finalize a new law” and highlighting “the importance of representation, especially for Christians.”

Riachy referred to Minister Gibran Bassil’s recent election law, considering that it “emphasizes the Christian vote without neglecting the Muslim vote.” He added that “sectarianism exists, without being necessarily abhorrent,” and called for “dealing with this sectarianism as a matter of fact, but within the context of correcting the imbalance in Christian representation, which has suffered injustice ever since 1992.”

Riachy expressed respect for MP Boutros Harb’s criticism of Gibran Bassil’s recent law, adding that “Bassil did not take into account certain calculations, but wished to accord consideration to Christian representation.”

Responding to a question about the reasons for postponement of elections without finding a solution, Riachy said he supported “the principle of voting for an election law.” He voiced rejection of relativity “because it ensures numbers but eliminates pluralism.”

“We want the proper representation of Christians, and this is provided by the Bassil law, which leads to the election of about 55 Christian deputies,” said Riachy.

He also refused to “accept the extension of the Parliament Council’s mandate without the completion of a new electoral law.”

Riachy expressed confidence in the President of the Republic with regards to reaching a new electoral law, noting that he would agree to a technical extension draft of the Parliament’s mandate till next September on condition of reaching a new electoral law.