AOUN in Chat With PRESS Says Didn’t Resort to Law Condemning LBP Rumors to ‘Preserve Freedoms’
19 Aug 2019
Lebanon– - In a chat with the press on Monday, President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, confirmed that he was endeavoring to maintain the value to the Lebanese pound, explaining that he has not resorted to a law which condemns rumors shaking the status of the LBP in a bid to “preserve freedoms."
"Freedom in Lebanon now includes insults and criticism," he said in regret. “We only welcome criticism which is a source of new ideas,” he added.
The President promised that work on executive plans would begin this week and should be ready in a month “because the general principles have become known to all of us,” he explained.
“All of this is aimed at finding solutions to all the issues that disturb citizens, especially the electricity crisis,” Aoun added.
He stressed that there had been commitment and approval of the economic paper, noting that he has launched this paper "yet, in order to be implemented, it requires cooperation amongst all the concerned authorities."
Regarding rumors hinting that the U.S. has instructed him to distance Minister Gebran Bassil, he said: "I will not distance Gebran Bassil or any other human being. I have no interest in that. Gebran is head of a political party, and head of the largest parliamentary bloc.”
He also denied that the Lebanese state had been subjected to any sort of U.S. pressure to achieve reconciliation over Kabreshmoun incident and to resolve the country’s financial issues.
“Neither the U.S. had interfered, nor it is in our nature to accept pressure,” he added.
On the 2020 state budget, Aoun stressed the need to have the budget be issued by December the 31st as the latest deadline, hoping there will be no delay.
Aoun also denied having been informed about U.S. sanctions against Christian figures close to Hezbollah. “We have not been notified about this matter,” he said.
As for the e-government project, he explained that it was currently under study.
Concerning political reforms, and whether the current political rule will witness a full implementation of the Taef agreement, he
confirmed relentless attempts to re-enforce the constitution.
“Some are used to breaking the constitution and depriving others of their rights. When I try to fix things, they say the constitution is being violated. Some are used to many bad habits, so it takes time to fix everything,” the President added.