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On 16 March, 2011, Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church led a delegation of several bishops, with other clergy and lay-people, on a visit to Bkerkeh  (Lebanon) to congratulate newly elected Patriarch Beshara Boutros (al Rai) of the Maronite Church.

Patriarch Gregorios III brought greetings and congratulations from the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of which he is father and head, and from the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs in Syria of which he is president, from the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs, from the Assembly for Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (APECL) and from the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC.)

Commenting on the meaning of the name of the new Patriarch, which means Annunciation in Arabic, His Beatitude expressed the wish that his tenure would be “good news” for the Christian world. He assured him that he and his Church would continue to enjoy communion in love with the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and that in their prayers all Syria’s Christians were all wishing the new Maronite Patriarch many years of fruitful service.

Patriarch Beshara himself expressed the wish to pay a visit to Syria this year for religious purposes and to further friendship between Lebanese and Syrian faithful.