Aoun follows up on Baalbek situation with Mashnouk, discusses water plan with Abi Khalil

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, said on Thursday that intensive meetings would be held with political and security leaders to put an end to the rampant chaos in Baalbek-Hermel region as soon as possible. The President also pledged to fo...

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, said on Thursday that intensive meetings would be held with political and security leaders to put an end to the rampant chaos in Baalbek-Hermel region as soon as possible. The President also pledged to follow up on the situation with Prime Minister Saad Hariri once he was back from the KSA, as well as with members of the Supreme Defense Council and political leaders.

Aoun received at Baabda Presidential Palace caretaker Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Nouhad Mashnouk, and Governor of Baalbek-Hermel, Bashir Khodr.

In the wake of the meeting, Mashnouk said that he has asked of Aoun to press the political and security leaders to put an end to the state of turmoil currently prevailing in Baalbek-Hermel.

"We have faith that president Aoun will not ignore this matter and will follow up on it," Mashnouk said.

"Every day there are news of plights in Baalbek, as well as lasting tension, without any control and without any real ability to stop this situation from affecting the civilians' economic and livelihood situation," Mashnouk added.

As for the security plans that had already been designed to protect the aforementioned region, Mashnouk said, "To be quite honest, only one plan had been put in place when a comprehensive security plot was designed for Lebanon as a whole; however, it's needless to say that it was not implemented due to several factors."

Asked whether the reason was due to the existence of areas that the state could not enter, Mashnouk denied such possibility. "There is nothing as such in the era of President Aoun," he added.

On another level, the President discussed the water situation in the country and measures to reduce the water scarcity crisis, with Minister of Energy and Water, Cesar Abi Khalil.

President Aoun also welcomed the new presidents of the boards of directors of water institutions after their appointment, and provided them with guidance on focusing on the importance of water wealth and citizens' right for water.

"During the meeting, we listened to a detailed briefing on board of directors' plan to improve water institutions in Lebanon, some of which are in a state of crisis and others that face significant problems -- whether at the level of water resources, infrastructure, or collection. These issues were discussed with His Excellency, especially those of dams, which we deem as the most appropriate and long-term solution to providing water for all the Lebanese," Minister Abi Khalil said.

"We also discussed the Litani River pollution and the best means to tackle this matter, especially having secured the necessary funds through a draft law submitted to the House of Parliament last year," Abi Khalil added.

Separately, Aoun received head of the Constitutional Council, Issam Suleiman, who said after the meeting that he had informed the President about an invitation to partake in an international conference in the province of Andorra on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Constitutional Court, which is a unique court in terms of being established by both Spain and France.

Source: National News Agency