Naharnet

Aoun Has No 'Fears' over Cabinet Delay, Vows to Confront 'Parties Benefiting from Corruption'

President Michel Aoun announced Tuesday that he is not concerned over the ongoing delay in the cabinet formation process as he pledged anew to fight the rampant corruption in state institutions.

“We do not have fears over the delay in the cabinet formation process, this is a minor issue, and we hope it will be formed soon so that we achieve the goals we have declared, topped by fighting corruption,” Aoun said.

“We hope the coming days will be promising and we hope we'll be able to improve the situations... Of course there are parties who were benefiting from the situation and they won't accept change easily,” the president added.

But he vowed to “engage in a battle with these parties,” while noting that “they will stir a political crisis or other crises in order to sway public opinion and push it to reject our thoughts and actions.”

“However, we must resist and urge people to back our approach and not to endorse misconceptions,” Aoun added.

Aoun's election after two and a half years of presidential void and Saad Hariri's appointment as premier-designate have raised hopes that Lebanon can begin tackling challenges including a stagnant economy, a moribund political class and the influx of more than a million Syrian refugees.

In addition to pledges of economic growth and security, Aoun said in his oath of office that Lebanon must work to ensure Syrian refugees "can return quickly" to their country.

Aoun also pledged to endorse an "independent foreign policy" and to protect Lebanon from "the fires burning across the region."


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