Hamad Saeed Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, inaugurated the launch of the Church of the Lady in Amshit and its Christmas lights.
The expenses of the church's launch and Christmas lights were covered by the embassy's humanitarian and development affairs mission.
The inauguration was attended by Michel Suleiman, Former Lebanese President, Nazem Al Khoury, Former Minister, Lahoud, Director of Protocol and Public Relations at the Cabinet of Ministers, Bishop Michel Aoun, Pastor of the Maronite Parish of Byblos, and several priests and members of the public.
Al Khoury delivered a speech thanking the UAE for helping the Lebanese people without discrimination.
Al Shamsi also delivered a speech that expressed his happiness at being present at the church, which is a place of tolerance and coexistence, which is the slogan of the UAE since its establishment while noting that over 200 nationalities live altogether in the UAE and pointing out that the country has adopted openness and moderation and countered extremism and terrorism. The country established a Ministry of Tolerance and issued legislation to protect freedom of religion, he added.
"We believe that all religions complement each other, and in our strategy, we care about humans regardless of their religion, colour and any other considerations," he added. He also highlighted the fact that the UAE passport is ranked first in the world, which indicates that the country is on the right track, due to the vision and efforts of the wise leadership.
Al Shamsi pointed out that the UAE has ranked first in the world concerning providing the highest level of humanitarian aid and development relative to national income for five consecutive years, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
He also highlighted the importance of the official visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church, to the UAE, which will take place from 3rd to 5th February 2019. The UAE is an incubator of the values of tolerance and human coexistence and promotes love and peace, setting an example to be followed at local and regional levels, he further added.
At the end of the event, the lights of the church's Christmas tree were lit, and souvenirs were presented to Al Shamsi, in appreciation of his efforts and the role of the UAE in Lebanon.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs