A Lebanese Christian leader who was a keynote speaker at a Washington, D.C. conference during which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was booed for his public support of Israel said President Obama told him during a later meeting that he would work to protect Lebanon from regional turmoil.
According to the Daily Star, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai said following a meeting with Obama and other Eastern Christian leaders, most who, like Rai, have been supporters of Hezbollah, “Obama promised us to work on protecting Lebanon from all the repercussions of what is happening in the region.”
“We felt that Obama is concerned about the region and the danger posed by ISIS and wants to support the region and minorities through an action plan he is working on,” Rai added.
Rai also said he had raised important issues with Obama, including the presidential deadlock in Lebanon and support for the Army.
As Breitbart News reported Thursday, five patriarchs, many who are known Hezbollah supporters, met with Obama and National Security Advisor Susan Rice hours after Cruz was booed during his address at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) summit, a three-day conference funded by a supporter of the Clinton Global Initiative and reportedly dedicated to bringing awareness to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
“We want to thank President Obama at this critical moment in history for meeting with the representatives of these Christian communities from the Middle East who face suffering and hardship for professing their religious beliefs,” said IDC president Toufic Baaklini in a press release.
Rai was praised by terrorist group Hezbollah in 2011 when he said, “Everyone says: why is Hezbollah carrying arms? We responded that the international community did not exert pressure on Israel to withdraw from Lebanese territory.”
“As long as there is an occupied Lebanese territory, Hezbollah will maintain that it wants to carry arms in defense of its land,” Rai added. “What will we say to it then? Isn’t it [Hezbollah] right?”
Rai also appeased Hezbollah in May when he travelled to Jerusalem to meet Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit to the Holy Land.
The Maronite patriarch said he only went to Jerusalem to meet the Pope and would not meet Israeli leaders, stating he was “aware that Israel is an enemy state that is occupying Lebanese territory.”