Defense Minister Zeina Akar denied, Saturday, the occurrence of any argument within the cabinet over the issue of neutrality, stressing “the importance of understanding on all matters.”


“Lebanon has historical ties with the East and West, and our relationship with China is historical, as is the matter with the West. We have common relations with everyone and we, in the government, are seriously dealing with any external side that wishes to assist this country, and all parts of the cabinet want to help Lebanon and its people,” assured Akar in an interview with “Radio Lebanon” this morning.


She pointed out that “there are a large number of files and problems that require fast decisions and speeding up the processes of addressing many them.”


Akar asserted that the challenges facing the government only serve to increase its determination to take responsibility, noting that the cabinet ministers are working within their powers amidst the difficult circumstances and the corona pandemic.


On the subject of forensic audit, the Minister indicated that “the contract will be prepared within a week to begin work, and decisions will be taken according to the audit report,” adding that “what the International Monetary Fund has requested is financial and forensic audit.”


Referring to the recent visit by the French Foreign Minister to Lebanon, Akar denied the existence of any blame on part of the Prime Minister towards the French side, emphasizing that “PM Diab’s speech was wrongly interpreted, and the relationship with the French side is good.”


She added: “All that the French Foreign Minister requested is to carry out reforms as Cedar Conference remains…and this pressure is beneficial to us because it is in our interest to carry out reforms.”


Touching on her Ministry’s operations, the Defense Minister assured that “we work as a team in the Ministry of Defense, and the relationship with the Army Chief is excellent, and there is permanent coordination with the army and all institutions within the Defense Ministry.”


In a word of tribute to the Lebanese army, Minister Akar underlined that “the army has proven in more than one juncture that it is the shield of the homeland and the main protector of the people, and this is what we felt in more than one junction, whether against the Israeli enemy or terrorism and in its handling of the demonstrations…The army has made many sacrifices and given many martyrs, and is still ready to confront all the challenges that may face the country.”


Source: National News Agency

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