The Muslim-Christian summit kicked off Thursday to discuss external and internal challenges threatening Lebanon's national unity and principles of coexistence.
The summit was convened by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai at his seat in Bkirki.
Giving the opening speech, Rai highlighted the reasons for the summit, which brought together Muslim and Christian religious figures. "The first reason is the imbalance within our national unity and the emergence of sectarian strife as a result of conflicting political choices," Rai said, adding that there was a need to strengthen Lebanon's national pact of coexistence.
Rai also said that the current crises in many Arab countries were threatening Lebanon''s social fabric, and said Lebanon must set a precedent of inter-religious dialogue.
Religious leaders and representatives began arriving at Bkirki early Thursday, (The Daily Star) reported. The summit will hold closed meetings between different religious leaders.
Discussions are expected to focus on the three-month Cabinet deadlock which has left a political vacuum in the country, paralyzing state institutions.
Clerics are also expected to discuss other topics of general concern, such as emigration from Lebanon, the potential permanent settlement of Palestinians in Lebanon, and Lebanon's stance vis-a-vis regional political alliances.
In April, Grand Mufti Mohammed Rashid Qabbani and Rai agreed on holding a large-scale Muslim-Christian summit in the hopes of promoting inter-religious harmony and coexistence