President Michel Aoun met on Wednesday UN Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Mr. Jan Kubis, at Baabda Palace.
The President told Kubis that “Lebanon, who is well aware of the importance of maintaining calm on the Blue Line Southern border, considers that the continuous Israeli violations, by air and land of Lebanese sovereignty, are a violation of Security Council Resolution 1701, which Lebanon is committed to implementing”. President Aoun also pointed out that Lebanon insists on maintaining calm at the southern borders, in cooperation between the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL forces.
During the meeting, which was attended by former Minister, Salim Jreisatti, and a delegation accompanying Kubis, President Aoun asserted that the “Economic crisis which Lebanon is suffering from has many causes, but the most prominent is the intensity of Syrian displacement to Lebanese territories, and what Lebanon has provided for this sponsorship, which the International Monetary Fund has estimated in 2018, to be 25 Billion US Dollars of losses due to closure of Lebanese-Syrian borders and suspension of export”.
“In addition to an amount of 18 Billion Dollars, which equals a total of 43 Billion US Dollars, in addition to other indirect losses” the President added.
Moreover, President Aoun considered that international assistance should meet the level of the damage inflicted on Lebanon since the outbreak of the Syrian war, until today, “Because it is not permissible for Lebanon to continue in bearing the consequences of this war in a way that has exhausted all its sectors”. The President also pointed out that “The economic plan which was laid down by the Cabinet and discussed during the National meeting, at Baabda, is now subject to discussion with the IMF and we hope that its status will be implemented gradually because it is not logical to implement it in one go, but the important issue is that fundamental reforms have begun aiming to find solutions, to the problems we are witnessing”.
For his side, Mr. Kubis briefed the President on deliberations which took place last week during the UN Security Council discussion of the report prepared by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Gutierrez, on the stages of implementation of resolution 1701, and the interest shown by member countries of the Lebanon Support Group, to endorse the economic plan, and the implications of Syrian displacement to Lebanon.
Kubis also affirmed that the Security Council member states are still supporting the work of UNIFIL in South Lebanon, aiming to fully implement Resolution 1701.
The President met with the Lebanese Democratic Party chief, MP Talal Arslan, Social Affairs and Tourism Minister, Dr. Ramzi Msharrafiyeh, and former Minister, Saleh Al-Gharib.
After the meeting, MP Arslan gave the following statement:
“It was an opportunity to deliberate, with His Excellency the President, and complete what was discussed in the economic dialogue session, which was called for by His Excellency, and included heads of Parliamentary blocs, to discuss the economic plan set by the Cabinet, which we also commented on and we are following-up this issue with the President.
This topic took the largest part of the meeting, in addition to the Government’s work and how to get the country out of the economic and financial crisis, which had become more difficult as Corona virus emerged, reflecting great burdens on the Lebanese, socially, economically and financially. These issues require a faster movement in dealing with, in order to alleviate people needs, and we are at the gates of summer season, and after a few months the academic year will begin and we must be prepared for all these things”.
Question: What about the return of the displaced Syrians, especially since you are on the move?
Answer: “There is a plan, a large part of which was accomplished in the previous Government with Minister Saleh al-Gharib. Minister Msharrafiyeh, in the current Government, has focused on its completion and follow-up, especially as we assume the functions of the Ministry of State for Displaced Affairs and the Ministry of Social Affairs. Dr. Msharrafiyeh has accomplished his plan, and delivered it to His Excellency the President in our presence, and the Council of Ministers must meet and approve it as soon as possible because it can constitute a basic lever to relieve the pressure of Syrian displacement on Lebanon”.
Question: There is the issue of fighting corruption, which is taking an important part, but there is still the problem of political reserves. What is your comment?
Answer: “The title of fighting corruption in the country is large and its details are also numerous. It must take place as soon as possible, and it should tackle corruption in the arteries of state institutions because it is urgent and necessary. Rather, frankly, corruption has transformed in the past thirty years into a codified system, and no one considers that corruption is limited to stealing an employee from the treasury or a political coverage that was stolen from the treasury. Therefore, the state should start dismantling the corruption system in every file”.
Question: What about the situation on the “Jabal” region, and the contacts that are taking place with His Excellency the President?
Answer: “The issue is not with His Excellency the President, who is a sponsor of the unity of the Lebanese and all regions. We must all focus on addressing this issue and taking it out of the political conflicts that do not reach a result, but rather more congestion, hatred and hatred between the people of the people of Jabal. The topic is never sectarian, but rather political, and accordingly, politicians in the Jabal – and we are part of them – cooperate with everyone to ease congestion, and we have a duty to do so, and the President is present and not far from any serious political team and enjoys credibility in dealing with the file seriously and honestly”.
Source: National News Agency