NNA - President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, stressed Saturday 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.”
"This huge number of displaced people has imposed catastrophic repercussions on Lebanon at all levels: daily-living, security and economic-wise, so the crime rate increased and Lebanon incurred significant monetary sums to secure the needs of the displaced, while unemployment prevailed and the economic crisis worsened in light of the displaced person's competition with the Lebanese," Aoun explained.
He continued to indicate that "the foreign countries did not accept their return to their country, putting pressure on the displaced to stay, which is an unfamiliar matter and raises suspicion." He, thus, declared that “Lebanon is in the process of moving actively and intensively at the international level in order to raise this issue."
"We will not accept the threat to Lebanon’s fate to please anyone...We will have a unified Lebanese position that we will carry to the world during the coming period in more than one regional and international forum," pledged Aoun.
Referring to the prevailing economic crisis, he said: "The magnitude of the crisis that Lebanon is suffering from on the financial and economic levels is not hidden to anyone," stressing his conviction that "the agreement with the International Monetary Fund is the beginning of the path towards recovery and exit from this crisis."
The President believed that "the long-term accumulations have brought Lebanon to its current stage, in addition to relying on a rentier rather than a productive economy, and failing to put in place sufficient laws to activate proper monitoring and reduce waste and corruption."
“The solution to the crisis requires today a comprehensive reform program and achieving economic and financial stability through the establishment of effective policies and reforms to revive the economy, rebuild confidence, broad support from all parties, and an explicit acknowledgment of the losses in the financial system and agreement on ways to address them," Aoun underlined.
On the parliamentary elections, he hoped that the "new parliament which will emerge from these elections will be according to the aspirations of the Lebanese, and the new parliamentarians will perform their part in terms of monitoring the work of the government, implementing the necessary legislation to ensure that Lebanon is placed on the path of financial and economic recovery, and electing a new president of the republic who would complete the road map that we have set to end the difficult situation in which we are all living."
Aoun stressed that "the Lebanese security and military forces have drawn up a tight plan to ensure the security of the parliamentary elections that will take place tomorrow, Sunday, so as to prevent any major problems that may lead to the postponement or failure of the voting operation."
He considered that the Parliament Council is responsible to oversee Lebanon’s transition to another stage by approving many legislations that help lay the foundations for a productive and lasting economy, and a financial strategy that preserves the rights and money of the Lebanese.
"The most important thing is to hold accountable all those who committed financial crimes and brought the country and the people to this dire reality," Aoun said.
Pointing to the expatriates' voting, the President regretted "not securing the necessary representation for the Lebanese expatriates in Parliament." However, he expressed his optimism that Lebanon was able to pass an electoral law in 2018, which took into account the necessity of adopting proportionality..."Although it is not up to the ambitions, but it is much better than the old law that prevailed, on the basis of which the Lebanese voted for decades, with all its flaws and the incorrectness of its representation of all segments of Lebanese society," he said.
Aoun saluted all those who contributed to the completion of the first phase of the elections, despite all the unprecedented difficulties and circumstances that imposed themselves on the electoral course. "This is an indication that the second phase, in which residents will be voting, will similarly be successful, from which a new parliament will emerge, which we hope will meet the aspirations and ambitions of the Lebanese, wherever they are inside and outside the country," he asserted.
The President's above words came in an exclusive interview with "Qatar News Agency (QNA)".