Lebanese Bishops Criticize Syria

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BEIRUT, Lebanon, SEPT. 6, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Council of Maronite Bishops in Lebanon has severely attacked Syria´s presence and influence in Lebanon, BBC reported.

In their strongest criticism of Syria in a year, the Christian bishops said the presence of thousands of Syrian troops imposed Syrian domination over Lebanese affairs, prevented democratic life, and stifled freedoms.

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, a Maronite Christian, said the Syrian presence had brought stability.

Last month Lebanese intelligence troops, backed by the Syrian army, arrested about 200 Christian militants, triggering accusations from opposition groups that Lebanon was becoming a dictatorship run by Damascus.