June 22, 2020 President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, asserted that the main topic of next Thursday’s dialogue is “To fortify civil peace by each of the internal parties assuming their responsibilities in order to avoid slipping towards the worst and bloodshed, especially after we saw what happened in the Streets of Beirut and Tripoli following recent movements”. The President denied that the goal of such a dialogue meeting is to return to a Government of national reconciliation, noting that “The consensual system lacks democracy in the absence of the so-called minority and majority”.


President Aoun also stressed that “Through industry and agriculture, the Lebanese Lira is supported, and not through borrowing from abroad, which we have always relied on in the past in addition to rentier economy”, asserting that he bears all his responsibilities as President of the Republic in order to find solutions to the current crisis.


“We are working to build Lebanon again, and this takes long” the President added.


President Aoun then received a delegation from the Administrative Board of the Association of Economists Media, headed by President of the Association, Mrs. Sabine Oueiss.


Mrs. Oueiss delivered a speech in which the concerns of workers in the sector were presented, and the goals of the association were specified. Oueiss stressed the necessity of work, with all available means, to strengthen the banking sector and restore confidence to it locally and externally, out of the conviction that this sector does not bear the sole responsibility for the current financial crisis. “The banking sector is an essential pillar of the economy, and one of its pillars is to restore recovery and launch industry and agriculture as part of the transition from the rentier economy to a productive economy capable of securing sustainable growth and economic and social prosperity for the Lebanese” Mrs. Oueiss said.


Mrs. Oueiss also considered that the shift to a productive economy should not be at the expense of eliminating Lebanon’s advantages in the services, financial and banking fields, and called for removing the economy from the circle of political attraction, after paying exorbitant prices as a result of that, which led to collapse and lossof elements of Lebanon’s steadfastness and immunity. “This is the correct and only way to address the economic, financial and banking crisis, and to immediately take fast measures to address the problem of high prices, especially in light of the depreciation of the Lira exchange rate, and to put an end to the failure in the exchange market, through serious measures that reflect the sovereignty of the state over its cash” Oueiss said.


Moreover, Oueiss considered that the decision to resort to the IMF “Is a bold and advanced option on the path of restoring Lebanon to the path of recovery, but it is not enough and could be harmful if Lebanon does not initiate the country to take bold reform decisions which protect its people from the painful path”.


Finally, Mrs. Oueiss called for supporting the media sector with its various institutions because Lebanon and the media are an inseparable title, focusing on the importance of expediting the development of a modern law that guarantees public freedoms, and that includes a new structure capable of absorbing all workers in the visual, audio, written and electronic sectors, after the absence of the organization led to neglect and reflects negatively on freedoms in general.


Then the association’s Vice President, Bahij Abi Ghanem, spoke about the association’s goals, and its role in the economic media.


President Aoun’s Reply:


For his side, President Aoun welcomed the association’s administrative body, stressing the importance of free press, “Which is an essential element in governance, because it gives an ultimatum to the ruler to pay attention to the defect wherever it exists”. On the other hand, the President stressed the need to distinguish between the meaning of Media Freedom and the freedom of insults common today on social media, asserting the need to draft a law which puts an end to this type of practice.


Then, President Aoun spoke about the economy, stating the risks encountered by the banking sector, which were reflected on the economy. The President pointed out to the ongoing efforts to evaluate the economic and financial conditions, reminding of what was said in his oath speech regarding the transition to a productive economy, especially since production sectors were completely idle in light of the prevailing rentier economy, over thirty years.


President Aoun praised the interest shown by the Lebanese people today in agriculture, pointing out that he has always stressed the importance of industry and agriculture supporting the Lebanese currency and not borrowing from abroad, “Which we have always depended on in addition to the rentier economy”, asking: “Is it reasonable to support the Lira with debt?” President Aoun also cited the experiences of a number of countries, especially US and China, who have preserved the value of their national currency by their national production.


Concerning corruption, President Aoun explained that he had always received delegations who complained of corruption. “I used to ask each of its members if they had evidence and if they were ready to present, but their answers came in the negative. How can we fight corruption if the ones who complain are not willing to present evidence to the judiciary? Today we are working to build Lebanon again, and this takes a long time.Circumstances that Lebanon has gone through in recent years have not helped it in its turn much, starting from the global economic crisis through wars in a number of countries in the region, in addition to the Syrian displacement. Which has placed burdens on Lebanon until the end of 2018, according to International Monetary Fund figures, $ 25 billion, as well as the loss to its economy due to the closure of the border with Syria, which is estimated at $ 18 billion over a period of 9 years” President Aoun said.


On the possibility of achieving reform and securing a decent life for the Lebanese to gain the trust of the international community, President Aoun pointed out that, since he assumed the Presidency, he drew attention to many of the reasons which led to the situation we live in today.In this context, the President pointed out that “If there are external economic causes disobeying us as a country to solve it, then we see that the internal causes can be solved. The current system is not appropriate, especially in light of the possibility of obstructing the implementation of taken decisions, in addition to the absence of accountability”, recalling when he presented law proposals, to the Parliament, related to reform back when he was an MP, indicating that these proposals are “Still on shelves”.


Then, President Aoun affirmed that he bears all his responsibilities as President of the Republic aiming to find solutions to the crisis, “However, the society does not help that, it is critical and in return does not provide the required assistance”.


President Aoun called on everyone, as well as the media, to bear responsibility and highlight the accomplishments that have been achieved, especially in security, and to draw up a new electoral law. “The difficulty for us lies in changing the mentality of some, and I am convinced that people should not give in to despair, and I hope that we will be able to cross this stage and reach a solution. We are working on that, but the situation is not easy” the President said.


And concerning next Thursday’s dialogue, President Aoun assured that “The main issue of this dialogue is to fortify civil peace by assuming each of the internal parties their responsibilities, in order to avoid slipping towards the worst and bloodshed, especially after we saw what happened in the streets of Beirut and Tripoli after Recent moves”.


In response to a question, President Aoun denied that the goal of holding the dialogue table was to return to a Government of national reconciliation, indicating that “The consensual system lacks democracy in the absence of the so-called minority and majority”.


Banking Control Committee:


The President met a delegation from the Banking Control Committee, headed by Chair, Mrs. Maya Al-Dabbagh, and discussed their work after recent financial appointments.


The chairperson and members of the committee presented the tasks assigned to them and their importance, especially in this financial and economic circumstance that Lebanon is going through.


MP Rahme:


Politically, President Aoun received Chief of “Solidarity” Party, former MP Emile Rahme, and discussed with political developments and the situation in the northern Beqaa region and its needs.


After the meeting, Rahme said that he conveyed, to the President, the atmosphere of relief left by the invitation extended to the political leaders to participate in the “National Meeting” to be held next Thursday in Baabda Palace, to emphasize the unity of the national ranks and the importance of preserving civil peace after the rejected practices that took place in Beirut and Tripoli, during the past weeks, which almost awakened sedition, which no one wants.


“It is normal for political leaders to respond to this call with national goals, away from any political or interest considerations, in order to reaffirm the national constants that are unanimous in fortifying the country’s front and preventing the recurrence of incidents such as that experienced in years 1975 and 1976” Rahme indicated.


“JAD” Association:


President Aoun received the head of “JAD” association, Joseph Hawwat, in the presence of MP, Mario Aoun, and was briefed about the five-year plan to combat drugs in Lebanon.


The delegation briefed President Aoun on starting work on a five-year plan set by the association with the aim of investing in youth energy by establishing an integrated preventive village,dealing with the drug problem on 5,000 square meters land, in the region of Al-Mounsef, Byblos District.


Hawwat pointed out that the aim of this plan is to reduce the risks of drugs and protect young people to create a future advanced concept to highlight the seriousness of drug use and the danger of all psychotropic substances.


Moreover, Hawwat said that investing in the health of youth is the goal of the association’s work in its new plan, especially since drug addiction rates rise dramatically among young people, which exceeds the ability of prisons to absorb the numbers of detainees, which necessitated giving instructions from higher bodies not to arrest the abusers, who are a direct threat to their surroundings.


For his side, the President praised the work of the “JAD” Association, stressing the importance of treating drug addicts to save them from this dangerous social scourge, asserting the necessity of monitoring drug traffickers, arresting them and imposing the severest penalties against them. President Aoun also assured the need to take care of the new generation and keep it away from all social pests, “because the future of Lebanon is based on the muscles of the children of this generation, which we want healthy and safe”.


Preventive village:


The following are the most prominent characteristics of the village as a preventive measures against the effects of psychotropic substances:


– The first preventive village in terms of content and number of parts.


– 37 years of preparation for the completion and assembly of these scientific subjects.


– Materials were brought from ninety countries around the world.


– The number of pieces of scientific and training materials exceeds seven thousand.


At the level of the Arab world and the world as a whole:


– Museum / exhibition / training center / laboratory / data bank for psychotropic substances, or any similar work (please see the main departments and administrative departments).


– Or a place in the world that brings together all these addictive subjects and topics in innovative and modern ways to serve all age groups.


– This village aims at Arab and international communication and interaction, and it will be the biggest example in the world in terms of the idea and its contents.


-Achieving immediate and long-term expected results, where worked with companies specialized in studies to show the low number of addicts by reducing the supply and demand process.


-Creating a new concept in advanced ways for cooperation between the countries of the world. Entering through history through the establishment of the first educational center of this size and comprehensiveness on the problems of addiction.–Presidency Press Office


Source: National News Agency-Lebanon

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