(Update) Mikati calls on Minister of Information to act as dictated by his conscience, prioritize national interest

NNA - Prime Minister Najib Mikati considered, at a press conference held at the Grand Serail that the statements of Information Minister George Kordahi had led Lebanon to be boycotted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states.

"The country cannot be ran by the language of defiance and arrogance, but rather with a common word that unites the Lebanese people and maintains their unity for the sake of rescuing the country. Whoever believes that he is able to impose his escalatory opinions and keep Lebanon isolated from its Arab depth is mistaken," Mikati affirmed.

He thus called on the Minister of Information "to act as dictated by his conscience, and take the appropriate position by giving priority to national interest."

In detail, Mikati said: "When we formed this government after months of disruption, delay, and missed opportunities, we announced that we were on a quick rescue mission that would put the country back on the path of recovery and launch a workshop to promote cooperation with international bodies and the International Monetary Fund, in addition to our duty of conducting the parliamentary elections, which the Lebanese and the international community mostly aspire for."

"We did believe that the painful reality that our country is going through would push everyone to transcend narrow calculations and considerations, and actively participate in the rescue operation, but we were unfortunately proven wrong," he added.

"If the behavior of those who chose to stay outside the government or follow the opposition line can be understood and justified, then what is worth dwelling on is the approach of obstruction that the government has been subjected to from within," he went on, shedding light on the government's first obstruction attempt which revolved around luring the cabinet to intervene in judicial affairs, despite the damage such an intervention would cause to Lebanon's reputation and to the judiciary, and consequently to governmental cohesion.

"We tried as much as possible and with all our might to keep the judicial file of the Beirut port explosion in the custody of the judiciary, (…) but this changed nothing in the position of some," the PM regretted.

Tackling the government's roadmap, Mikati shed light on the following points:

- The Council of Ministers is the natural place to discuss all files and issues that concern the government, away from dictates, challenges, loud voices, and the use of threats. The Council of Ministers will never be a place to interfere in any matter that does not concern the government, specifically the work of the judiciary.

- All ministers must abide by the concept of ministerial solidarity and adhere to the contents of the ministerial statement, which sets the basic rules for the government's work and policy. Everything that is said outside these constants is rejected and does not bind the government to anything.

- We are determined to deal with the arising issue of ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the sisterly Gulf states according to sound rules. We will never leave this file open to political ramblings, and we will seek, in cooperation with all the faithful, to have the decisions reversed in a way that restores the smoothness of Lebanese relations with its natural Arab surrounding.



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