BEIRUT, (SANA) – Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi affirmed that Syria is the closest to democracy in the Arab world, and that much like all countries, it needs reforms which President Bashar al-Assad announced since March 2011.
In an interview with Reuters, Patriarch al-Rahi stressed that reforms cannot be achieved though force of arms, noting that the religion of the state in Syria is Islam, but Syria is unique among Arab countries in that it doesn't proclaim itself to be an Islamic country, rather it simply states that the President's religion is Islam, therefore it's the closest country to democracy in the region.
He regretted the violence and destruction taking place in Syria, saying that there are destructive plans in world politics and that the people don't want the extremists who are receiving financial, military and political support from certain countries.
"How can the Arab Spring be a spring when people are killed every day? They talk about Iraq and democracy while a million Christians out of one and a half million were forced to leave Iraq… where is democracy in Iraq?" he asked, saying that this so-called spring is closer to a winter of war, destruction and killing.
"What good is democracy if it wants to kill people and throw away stability?" Patriarch al-Rahi wondered.