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Qatar-Lebanon Relations Very Strong: Aoun

Qatar-Lebanon Relations Very Strong: Aoun

QNA
Beirut
Lebanese President General Michel Aoun has lauded the permanent support of Qatar to Lebanon in the difficult stages it went through, indicating that this relationship has been strengthened at the level of leaders and brotherly peoples over time.
In an interview to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the Lebanese president noted the depth of the Qatari-Lebanese relations, pointing out that the relationship between Lebanon and Qatar is not a product of this time, but rather old and reflects the brotherly ties that unite the two countries and peoples, stressing the keenness of the Lebanese and Qatari sides to continue and develop this relationship in view of the common desire to preserve it.
He drew attention to the seriousness of the Arab-Arab differences and their negative effects on all Arab countries and peoples, expressing at the same time Lebanon’s commitment to a position of solidarity and unity among Arab countries, stressing Lebanon’s keenness to establish good relations with Arab countries in general and the Gulf countries in particular.
He stressed that Lebanon depends on the Arab countries to be its economic path to the world, especially with the presence of the Israeli enemy on its southern borders, in addition to the nature of interaction between the Lebanese people and other Arab peoples, which makes strengthening relations a fundamental necessity for its stability on the political and economic levels.
The Lebanese president expressed his aspirations that the next parliament would elect a new president for the Lebanese Republic who would complete the road map he had set to end the difficult situation the Lebanese live in, in addition to passing legislation based on Lebanon’s position on the path of financial and economic recovery and holding all those who committed crimes accountable.
In response to a question about Lebanon’s implementation of the unified defence strategy which is based on confining arms to the Lebanese army in light of the criticism directed from abroad about the presence of arms in the hands of the Lebanese parties, Michel Aoun said that addressing an issue of this magnitude requires a comprehensive consensus by all parties because the reflection of the issue affects everyone without exception, and the issue of the defense strategy cannot be adopted and applied by one party.
He indicated that he had previously presented to the Lebanese parties his objective vision to reach a suitable ground for discussion on the issue of weapons and how to confront Israeli threats and ambitions, especially in light of the Israeli superiority in the balance of power in terms of weapons.
In this context, he made it clear that there are currently developments that have imposed themselves in the world and the region, and they cannot be ignored when talking about a defense strategy, so he called for a comprehensive national meeting to discuss this matter, but after discussing the most vital and dangerous issue of the economic and financial situation, while some responded to this invitation, others decided to deafen their ears.
Regarding the economic and financial crisis that his country is going through, the Lebanese President said it is not hidden the size of the great crisis that Lebanon is experiencing on the financial and economic levels, stressing his conviction that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund is the beginning of the march towards recovery and exit from this crisis.
He believed that the long-term accumulations brought Lebanon to the current situation, in addition to relying on the renter economy rather than the product, and the failure to put in place sufficient laws to activate oversight and reduce waste and corruption, all of which have combined to throw their weight on the shoulders of the Lebanese.
He added that resolving the crisis requires a comprehensive reform programme and achieving economic and financial stability by establishing effective policies and reforms to revive the economy, rebuild confidence and broad support from all parties, and an explicit acknowledgment of the losses in the financial system and agreement on ways to address them.
He revealed that the goal of reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund is not only to obtain the amount of three billion dollars, or any other amount, as much as it is to lay down a valid road map for a valid economic and financial future vision that secures stability on these two levels and allows the Lebanese to recover and be assured of a promising future.
The Lebanese president revealed that the Lebanese government has developed a plan called the “economic recovery plan”, in which everything must be done in order to overcome the current situation, through measures that may be harsh, but necessary, not forgetting that the problem is the result of accumulations that are decades old.
He pointed out that it was not easy to maintain security stability in Lebanon in a region that was raging with conflicts and in light of the fierce war that Syria has witnessed since 2011.
He explained that despite the great differences of opinion among the Lebanese, they all agreed that the security factor is the main common denominator for the survival of the country and the preservation of its identity, otherwise they will all lose and enter into an unknown fate.
“Therefore, we worked to strengthen this cohesion among the Lebanese first, and facilitated the bypass around the Lebanese army and security services, which played their full role, and deserved the trust of Arab and Western countries alike. Logistical support was provided to them from all countries of the world, after everyone made sure that Lebanon is strongly involved in the process of combating terrorism and bringing down all the schemes of the terrorists who did not succeed in imposing their vision and ideas,” he said.
The Lebanese president believed that the diversity of Lebanese society was the main factor in the rapprochement between the Lebanese and their standing together in the face of terrorists who wanted to strike civilizations and sow discord between religions and sects, so their failure in Lebanon was resounding.
Michel Aoun reiterated his position on the necessity of returning the displaced Syrians to their homes in light of Lebanon’s inability to bear the economic consequences of this displacement.
He warned against the Israelis’ ambitions for the Lebanese wealth of oil, gas and water, ruling out at the same time Israel launching an aggression against Lebanon, expressing his belief that the enemy will not seek such an adventure now because the price will be very high, and Lebanon will stand united in the face of the aggressor with all its components and resistance.
He added that Israel knows that it will lose a great deal if it attacks Lebanon, knowing that Lebanon is committed to international resolutions, especially Resolution 1701, while Israel intends to violate this resolution on every occasion. He stressed that recent years have proven that stability on the borders is everyone’s demand, and Lebanon has never been in the position of an attacker, but rather a defender.
On the possibility of reaching a framework agreement with Israel on the demarcation of the maritime borders after the progress of US mediation in this file, HE the Lebanese President said that in the concept of negotiations, a solution must be reached that satisfies both parties, otherwise things are doomed to failure.
His Excellency revealed that Lebanon has started, and is still, from not giving up its right to oil and gas, and not normalizing with Israel, even through the sharing of oil and gas fields, adding that Lebanon is open to the offers within this subject ceiling, and studies all the proposals, as well as presents suggestions that it thinks may be suitable to form a ground from which to start.
His Excellency added that thanks to the American mediation, the negotiations remain in place in an indirect way, even though they have practically stopped due to the time required to study options and proposals, but this does not mean that the negotiations have ended and that the file has been closed, pointing out that any preliminary or final agreement cannot be approved by Lebanon unless it is issued by the relevant authorities, i.e. the President of the Republic, the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives.
In his statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), His Excellency affirmed Lebanon’s success and its continuous efforts to control the security situation, indicating at the same time that concern about terrorist operations remains present at all times, a matter that threatens all countries of the world, as we have unfortunately seen, and it is the duty of the security forces and the military to take all necessary measures to control terrorist cells by conducting proactive security operations and exchanging information with the intelligence services of brotherly and friendly countries.
HE the Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, revealed that during his presidential term, the Supreme Defense Council held several meetings in which it dealt with security issues and activating coordination processes between the various Lebanese security services, and between them and the rest of the countries of the world to ensure security stability, despite all the harsh conditions experienced by the region and the world.
In an exclusive interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), His Excellency said that the Lebanese security and military forces have drawn up a tight plan to ensure the security of the parliamentary elections that will be held on Sunday, and in order not to cause major problems that may lead to the postponement or failure of the voting operations.
In a response to a question about the obstacles that he faced in the course of implementing reforms in his country, General Michel Aoun said there is a proverb that says: “One hand does not clap.” “Unfortunately, I faced many obstacles from some beneficiaries to keep the situation as it is in Lebanon, far from any accountability or reform, and what had to be accomplished very quickly, it took years to do, similar to the issue of the forensic auditing that was approved with a moratorium implementation, before I work again to move the wheel, and it does not target an institution in itself, but rather proceeds from the Banque du Liban to include all public institutions and administrations, because the fact that funds have been smuggled outside Lebanon, and it must be known who did this and who facilitated and participated in this conspiracy against the people.
HE the Lebanese president added, that there are people who committed this, but they receive protection from influential people in Lebanon, but I have not given up and will not despair, and I will continue to work to achieve goals in this context even after the end of my presidential term, because I believe that the reforms that I advocate do not serve the interest of a group, and it is the right path to reach recovery and overcome the ordeals we are experiencing, and it will restore trust between the citizen and the state after it was lost during the last decades.
During the remainder of my presidential term, he said, I will work to achieve what I called for, and in the event that time is not available for that, I will at least have left a road map that my successors can emulate to move Lebanon from one situation to another.