14 May 2022

In an interview to QNA: Lebanese President Appreciates Permanent Support of the State of Qatar to Lebanon

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Beirut, May 14 (QNA) - HE the Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, valued the permanent support of the State of Qatar to Lebanon in the difficult stages it went through, indicating that this relationship has been strengthened at the level of leaders and brotherly peoples over time.
In an exclusive interview to Qatar News Agency (QNA), HE the Lebanese president noted the depth of the Qatari-Lebanese relations, pointing out that the relationship between Lebanon and Qatar is not a product of this time, but rather old and reflects the brotherly ties that unite the two countries and peoples, stressing the keenness of the Lebanese and Qatari sides to continue and develop this relationship in view of the common desire to preserve it.
His Excellency drew attention to the seriousness of the Arab-Arab differences and their negative effects on all Arab countries and peoples, expressing at the same time Lebanon's commitment to a position of solidarity and unity among Arab countries, stressing Lebanon's keenness to establish good relations with Arab countries in general and the Gulf countries in particular.
His Excellency stressed that Lebanon depends on the Arab countries to be its economic path to the world, especially with the presence of the Israeli enemy on its southern borders, in addition to the nature of interaction between the Lebanese people and other Arab peoples, which makes strengthening relations a fundamental necessity for its stability on the political and economic levels.
HE the Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, expressed his aspirations that the next parliament would elect a new president for the Lebanese Republic who would complete the road map he had set to end the difficult situation the Lebanese live in, in addition to passing legislation based on Lebanon's position on the path of financial and economic recovery and holding all those who committed crimes accountable.

Defense Strategy

In response to a question about Lebanon's implementation of the unified defense strategy which is based on confining arms to the Lebanese army in light of the criticism directed from abroad about the presence of arms in the hands of the Lebanese parties, HE General Michel Aoun said that addressing an issue of this magnitude requires a comprehensive consensus by all parties because the reflection of the issue affects everyone without exception, and the issue of the defense strategy cannot be adopted and applied by one party.
His Excellency indicated that he had previously presented to the Lebanese parties his objective vision to reach a suitable ground for discussion on the issue of weapons and how to confront Israeli threats and ambitions, especially in light of the Israeli superiority in the balance of power in terms of weapons.
In this context, His Excellency made it clear that there are currently developments that have imposed themselves in the world and the region, and they cannot be ignored when talking about a defense strategy, so he called for a comprehensive national meeting to discuss this matter, but after discussing the most vital and dangerous issue of the economic and financial situation, while some responded to this invitation, others decided to deafen their ears.
Regarding the economic and financial crisis that his country is going through, HE the Lebanese President said, it is not hidden the size of the great crisis that Lebanon is experiencing on the financial and economic levels, stressing his conviction that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund is the beginning of the march towards recovery and exit from this crisis.
His Excellency believed that the long-term accumulations brought Lebanon to the current situation, in addition to relying on the rentier economy rather than the product, and the failure to put in place sufficient laws to activate oversight and reduce waste and corruption, all of which have combined to throw their weight on the shoulders of the Lebanese.
His Excellency added that resolving the crisis requires today a comprehensive reform program and achieving economic and financial stability by establishing effective policies and reforms to revive the economy, rebuild confidence and broad support from all parties, and an explicit acknowledgment of the losses in the financial system and agreement on ways to address them.
His Excellency revealed that the goal of reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund is not only to obtain the amount of three billion dollars, or any other amount, as much as it is to lay down a valid road map for a valid economic and financial future vision that secures stability on these two levels and allows the Lebanese to recover and be assured of a promising future.
His Excellency revealed that the Lebanese government has developed a plan called the "economic recovery plan", in which everything must be done in order to overcome the current situation, through measures that may be harsh, but necessary, not forgetting that the problem is the result of accumulations that are decades old.
His Excellency pointed out that it was not easy to maintain security stability in Lebanon in a region that was raging with conflicts and in light of the fierce war that Syria has witnessed since 2011.
His Excellency explained that despite the great differences of opinion among the Lebanese, they all agreed that the security factor is the main common denominator for the survival of the country and the preservation of its identity, otherwise they will all lose and enter into an unknown fate.
His Excellency added: "Therefore, we worked to strengthen this cohesion among the Lebanese first, and facilitated the bypass around the Lebanese army and security services, which played their full role, and deserved the trust of Arab and Western countries alike. Logistical support was provided to them from all countries of the world, after everyone made sure that Lebanon is strongly involved in the process of combating terrorism and bringing down all the schemes of the terrorists who did not succeed in imposing their vision and ideas." His Excellency believed that the diversity of Lebanese society was the main factor in the rapprochement between the Lebanese and their standing together in the face of terrorists who wanted to strike civilizations and sow discord between religions and sects, so their failure in Lebanon was resounding. 

Displaced Syrians

HE the Lebanese President General Michel Aoun reiterated his position on the necessity of returning the displaced Syrians to their homes in light of Lebanon's inability to bear the economic consequences of this displacement.
In this context, His Excellency said, that his position was announced since the first day of the war in Syria, where he said that it is necessary to receive displaced persons who are injured or who really need to flee from Syria in order to preserve their lives, indicating that his calls did not receive the required response, as the influx of hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians to Lebanon reach the largest number of population density per square kilometer, to the limits of 600 people.
His Excellency pointed out that this number of displaced people imposed catastrophic repercussions on Lebanon at all levels: livelihood, security and economics, so the crime rate increased, and Lebanon incurred huge sums of money to secure the needs of the displaced, unemployment and the economic crisis increased in light of the competition of the displaced to the Lebanese.
His Excellency revealed that other countries did not accept their departure to their country, and put pressure on the displaced to stay, which is an unfamiliar matter and raises suspicion, declaring that Lebanon is in the process of moving actively and intensively internationally in order to raise this issue.
His Excellency warned against the Israelis' ambitions for the Lebanese wealth of oil, gas and water, ruling out at the same time Israel launching an aggression against Lebanon, expressing his belief that the enemy will not seek such an adventure now because the price will be very high, and Lebanon will stand united in the face of the aggressor with all its components and resistance.
His Excellency added that Israel knows that it will lose a great deal if it attacks Lebanon, knowing that Lebanon is committed to international resolutions, especially Resolution 1701, while Israel intends to violate this resolution on every occasion. His Excellency stressed that recent years have proven that stability on the borders is everyone's demand, and Lebanon has never been in the position of an attacker, but rather a defender.
On the possibility of reaching a framework agreement with Israel on the demarcation of the maritime borders after the progress of US mediation in this file, HE the Lebanese President said that in the concept of negotiations, a solution must be reached that satisfies both parties, otherwise things are doomed to failure.
His Excellency revealed that Lebanon has started, and is still, from not giving up its right to oil and gas, and not normalizing with Israel, even though the sharing of oil and gas fields, adding that Lebanon is open to the offers within this subject ceiling, and studies all the proposals, as well as presents suggestions that it thinks may be suitable to form a ground from which to start.
His Excellency added that thanks to the American mediation, the negotiations remain in place in an indirect way, even though they have practically stopped due to the time required to study options and proposals, but this does not mean that the negotiations have ended and that the file has been closed, pointing out that any preliminary or final agreement cannot be approved by Lebanon unless it is issued by the relevant authorities, i.e. the President of the Republic, the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives.

Security Situation

In his statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), His Excellency affirmed Lebanon's success and its continuous efforts to control the security situation, indicating at the same time that concern about terrorist operations remains present at all times, a matter that threatens all countries of the world, as we have unfortunately seen, and it is the duty of the security forces and the military to take all necessary measures to control terrorist cells by conducting proactive security operations and exchanging information with the intelligence services of brotherly and friendly countries. 

HE the Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, revealed that during his presidential term, the Supreme Defense Council held several meetings in which it dealt with security issues and activating coordination processes between the various Lebanese security services, and between them and the rest of the countries of the world to ensure security stability, despite all the harsh conditions experienced by the region and the world.
In an exclusive interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), His Excellency said that the Lebanese security and military forces have drawn up a tight plan to ensure the security of the parliamentary elections that will be held tomorrow (Sunday), and in order not to cause major problems that may lead to the postponement or failure of the voting operations.
In a response to a question about the obstacles that His Excellency faced in the course of implementing reforms in his country, General Michel Aoun said there is a proverb that says: "One hand does not clap." "Unfortunately, I faced many obstacles from some beneficiaries to keep the situation as it is in Lebanon, far from any accountability or reform, and what had to be accomplished very quickly, it took years to do, similar to the issue of the forensic auditing that was approved with a moratorium implementation, before I work again to move the wheel, and it does not target an institution in itself, but rather proceeds from the Banque du Liban to include all public institutions and administrations, because the fact that funds have been smuggled outside Lebanon, and it must be known who did this and who facilitated and participated in this conspiracy against the people.
HE the Lebanese president added, that there are people who committed this, but they receive protection from influential people in Lebanon, but I have not given up and will not despair, and I will continue to work to achieve goals in this context even after the end of my presidential term, because I believe that the reforms that I advocate do not serve the interest of a group, and it is the right path to reach recovery and overcome the ordeals we are experiencing, and it will restore trust between the citizen and the state after it was lost during the last decades.
During the remainder of my presidential term, His Excellency said, I will work to achieve what I called for, and in the event that time is not available for that, I will at least have left a road map that my successors can emulate to move Lebanon from one situation to another.
Regarding the possibility of Lebanon emerging from the crisis after the World Bank classified the crisis in Lebanon as among the worst since the nineteenth century, HE General Michel Aoun said that the problem does not lie in whether Lebanon is able to get back on its feet, but rather the issue lies in the time period for this matter, adding, Lebanon experienced, during its ancient and contemporary history, very complex problems that threatened its entity, identity and existence, something that the Lebanese who have become more aware of knowing the futility of engaging in confrontations and problems that eliminate them all, expressing his belief in the ability of the Lebanese to overcome all difficulties, regardless of their size and gravity. His Excellency added that the time factor is not in the interest of Lebanese, and they have worked and encouraged the holding of parliamentary elections on time as one of the democratic ways required for people to express their vision and demand in the coming years.
HE President Aoun said the Lebanese do not know despair, and therefore they have their own decision, and they will work to overcome the current crisis, but the appropriate atmosphere must be provided for that, and this is what we are trying to do, explaining that the parliamentary elections for the Lebanese that took place last Friday and Sunday showed two important things: the first is the fall of the false allegations and accusations that were brought against us to work to disrupt or obstruct the holding of the parliamentary elections, noting that he have personally been keen, since assuming presidential duties, to overcome all difficulties in front of the electoral elections, and he was the most insistent on respecting their constitutional dates.. As for the second matter, the enthusiasm of the Lebanese scattered abroad to participate in this constitutional event, and their desire to make their voice heard to everyone that they had not forgotten their country and wanted to participate in its advancement and recovery.
In his exclusive interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), His Excellency expressed his regret for not securing the necessary representation for the Lebanese expatriates in Parliament, expressing his hope that this would take place as of the upcoming elections, and at the same time expressing his happiness because Lebanon was able to pass an electoral law in 2018. He took into account the necessity of adopting relativism, although it is not up to the ambitions, but it is much better than the old law that prevailed and on the basis of which the Lebanese voted for decades, with all its flaws and the incorrectness of its representation of all segments of Lebanese society.
His Excellency saluted everyone who contributed to the completion of the first phase of the elections, despite all the unprecedented difficulties and circumstances that imposed themselves, indicating that this is an indication that the second phase in which residents will elect, will be similar to the previous one, with a new parliament emerging from it, hoping to meet the aspirations and ambitions of the Lebanese, wherever they are inside and outside the country.

New Parliament
Regarding his expectations from the upcoming parliament, His Excellency said my expectations from the new parliament are based on the hopes of the Lebanese that the new parliamentarians will do their full work in terms of monitoring the work of the government, and implement the necessary legislation to ensure that Lebanon is placed on the path of financial and economic recovery, and to elect a new President of the Republic who completes the road map that we put it in place to end the difficult situation, and the Council has the responsibility to keep pace with Lebanon’s transition to another stage by approving a lot of legislation that helps lay the foundations for a productive and lasting economy, and a financial strategy that preserves the rights and money of the Lebanese, and most importantly hold accountable all those who committed financial crimes.
On the war in Ukraine, His Excellency the Lebanese President said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned this war, which is the Lebanese position that reflects Lebanon's commitment to the foundations of dialogue and understanding away from arms, which has suffered from catastrophic repercussions and results on the humanitarian, economic and financial levels as a result of resorting to arms to solve problems.
HE Aoun explained that Lebanon's position on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis stems from the necessity of adopting the language of dialogue to solve problems between countries and peoples and therefore, the principles of the International Bill of Human Rights and the principles of the United Nations are based on dialogue and not on violence and the sounds of guns.
His Excellency stressed that Lebanon has friendly relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and that is why it pains him to watch the outbreak of war between them, adding that he communicated this position to both countries, and they expressed understanding for his point of view.
His Excellency stressed that Lebanon supports everything that would stop the ongoing war immediately, given the human and material losses it incurs, and it is exacerbating to the extent that it affects the entire world, with talks about the possibility of a nuclear war, and the high prices of food and energy sources.
His Excellency reiterated that Lebanon does not wish to compromise its relations with anyone, but believes that there is no alternative to understandings, and he encourages the continuation of the ongoing negotiations between the two countries because they are the only way that will lead to the desired results, and the war will only delay this solution and inflict grief and loss on everyone. (QNA)


General, Arab Affairs, Lebanon
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