(*) DIAB VOICES FULL CONFIDENCE IN JUDICIARY’S PROBE INTO BEIRUT PORT EXPLOSION

Caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, reiterated in an interview with “MTV” Channel by Journalist Ricardo Karam this evening, that his cabinet resigned due to the catastrophic explosion that hit the capital’s port, saying: “In wake of any explosion in any port or city, it is the duty of the concerned government to resign, and this is what our government did.”

 

The Caretaker PM affirmed his trust in the Lebanese Judiciary, saying: “I have full confidence that the Judiciary is carrying out its duty separately from the executive authority, and it will decide whether or not the port crime was contrived.”

 

In response to a question, Diab indicated that his port visit was scheduled, but upon receiving different information within two hours, he asked that the dossier be completed; however, it arrived more than a month later, so he transferred it to the relevant ministries for more data.

 

Touching on the October 17th Revolution, Diab considered that the uprising began with the young men and women, adding that throughout his lifetime, he had mentored and interacted with the young generation seeking a better future. “They have expressed their rightful demands, and I hope that the future will be bright,” he said.

 

Over his appointment as PM, Diab said: “I consulted with President Michel Aoun prior to my appointment. I was not Hezbollah’s candidate and I am independent. My first condition was the formation of a technocratic government comprised of members who are independent from parties. The mechanism for forming such a government differs after Taif than before it, and its goal today is to address all these economic, financial and other problems.”

 

He added: “My relationship with the President of the Republic is very good, constituting appreciation, warmth and respect. As for Minister Gebran Bassil, I communicated with him as I did with the heads of other blocs, and I did not succumb to anyone.”

 

On the corruption issue, he said: “Corruption is a system. Unfortunately, today it has become a culture, while we are in need of a citizenship culture. The system of corruption is deeply-rooted in the state and we are of course awaiting the financial and forensic audit to find out about this system.”

 

He explained that “banking secrecy is not an obstacle now in the face of completing the forensic audit, and the Parliament Council’s decision opens the door to the Monetary and Credit Law.”

 

Diab also indicated that the Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh, “has support from part of the political class, as well as the economic class.”

 

In response to a question, Diab asserted that in Lebanon there is no “statelet” but a “one state”, and that corruption undoubtedly exits, yet there is a Lebanese state which is the “state of law.”

 

Asked about the Eurobonds, Diab said he was hoping that the banking sector would not sell the Eurobond and that he was with rescheduling, adding that the maturities were intended to be postponed so that the financial sector could breathe a little. However, upon making the decision, it was found that a large proportion of the bonds were sold abroad; thus, the decision to withhold payment was inevitable.

 

“Today, the correctness of this decision is evident after reaching the use of the mandatory reserves to support basic commodities,” he said, noting that whoever is keen on the 17 billion dollars available, ought to be keen on the 15 billion dollars that have gone out of Lebanon.

 

Responding to a question about the electoral law, Diab deemed that “the call for a new election law comes at an appropriate time, and I support a law outside the sectarian restriction.”

 

Source: National News Agency

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