Aoun to Baabda interlocutors: We must work together to exit crisis in a way which benefits the Lebanese

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received the Assistant Secretary-General of the “League of Arab Nations”, Ambassador Hossam Zaki, accompanied by a delegation, at Baabda Palace.

President Aoun told Zaki that he is continuing his efforts to achieve an understanding on the new Government.

“The current situation cannot bear implying conditions and counter-conditions .We must work together to get out of the current crisis in a way which serves interests of the Lebanese and contributes to solve the difficult economic conditions, which the country is going through” President Aoun said.

President Aoun indicated that he supports the majority of demands raised by the “Popular Movement” since he has already submitted law proposals to achieve, especially those related to combatting corruption, activating reforms, preventing waste, and lifting immunity for perpetrators and others, and that he has called on demonstrators, more than once, to seek dialogue and will continue his efforts to find appropriate solutions to this crisis.

During the meeting, which was attended by the Minister of State for Presidency Affairs, Salim Jreisatti, Ambassador Abdel Rahman Al Solh, and an accompanying delegations, the President pointed out that “Arab support for Lebanon should be translated into practical steps, especially with regard to aid to address the deteriorating situation, which resulted in part from the influx of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon numbered one million and 900 thousand, of which 400 thousand returned, and one million, 500 thousand remain”.

“The assistance received for the displaced is insufficient, and this has had negative repercussions on the Lebanese economic situation. Lebanon has so far suffered more than 25 billion dollars in loss due to infrastructural damage, not to mention the cost of health, education and social care, as well as losses suffered by the Lebanese economy and unemployment which afflicted Lebanese workers” President Aoun said added.

The President also conveyed to Ambassador Zaki, his greetings to the Secretary-General of the “Arab League” and thanked him for his interest in Lebanon. From his side, Ambassador Zaki told President Aoun that the aim of his visit, with the accompanying delegation, is to express the Arab League’s support to Lebanon, to know about the current Lebanese situation, and to confirm solidarity and desire to help in all fields.

Statement by the Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ambassador Hossam Zaki:

“I had the honor to meet with his Excellency, the President of the Republic. I was instructed, by the Arab League, to convey a message concerning Lebanese developments.

Lebanon is an important and founding country in Arab systems, its developments concern all Arabs and always have regional repercussions.

Consideration of these developments is therefore interesting. The Lebanese situation is not easy, there is a political crisis, in addition to economic risks and an unstable situation in the streets. Our interest came from here, and that there must be an Arab envoy to follow up the situation with the Lebanese leadership: the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Parliament, the caretaker Prime Minister, and other Lebanese Leaders, to convey to them the interest and concern of the Arab League, and its support and willingness to work in helping the Lebanese to get out of the crisis, politically and economically speaking.

But, of course, the biggest burden of this crisis concerns the Lebanese, because the country is their country, and the situation concerns them in the first place. The outside is only in support of what is happening in Lebanon, in attempts to resolve the crisis. A number of meetings will take place in the rest of the day, and we hope that the picture will be complete, and that we can decide the next step in this context”.

Question: Is there an initiative from the Arab League?

Answer: This is the Arab League’s move at the moment, and any other move comes after listening to all parties to see how the Arab League can play a role in this area.

The President met the UN special Coordinator in Lebanon, Jan Kubic.

Kubic briefed President Aoun on recent deliberations, in the UN Security Council, concerning the Lebanese situation, in addition to the course of implementation of Resolution 1701, and the content of the statement issued unanimously by Council members after the meeting which stressed the importance of maintaining stability in South Lebanon, and support to the UNIFIL’s role in coordination with Lebanese Armed Forces.

During the meeting, which was attended by Minister Jreisatti, the internal situation and ongoing contacts to form a new Government, were also discussed.

Source: National News Agency

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