Naharnet

Miqati at Grand Serail after 6 Years: Lebanon Committed to International Resolutions

Prime Minister Najib Miqati, who on Thursday entered the Grand Serail for the first time in six years, reiterated that his cabinet will not confront the international community.

“Lebanon is not in a confrontation with the Western community nor the international community,” Miqati told pan-Arab radio station Sawa.

“Lebanon is a founding member of the U.N. and a member of the Security Council … Lebanon is part of this world and abides by international resolutions,” he said.

According to Miqati, Lebanon is facing economic and social challenges and ways to confront them.

“Based on what we’ve heard from foreign western countries, they will judge the cabinet over its actions. They are not concerned with local issues,” he told Sawa.

Asked about comments that the life of his cabinet was linked to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s tenure, Miqati said: “No one can say how long this cabinet would live. This is a Lebanese government that would stay (in power) if we were able to draft the policy statement and receive parliament’s vote of confidence.”

“I only follow the Lebanese constitution and my allegiance is only to my nation and citizens in this nation which is strongly in need for the minimum (effort) to improve living conditions,” the billionaire businessman said.

Miqati emerged as a leader in the wake of ex-PM Rafik Hariri's murder, when he headed a three-month interim technocrat government in 2005 during the worst political turmoil to grip Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The 55-year-old magnate first entered local politics in 1998 and was last elected to parliament in 2009 as an ally of ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Miqati, who hails from the Sunni bastion of Tripoli in north Lebanon, was first appointed minister of transport and public works in 1998.

His nomination by the Hizbullah-led alliance in January this year to form the cabinet sparked a resentment by Hariri who along with the March 14 forces accused him of turning against them and allying himself with the Shiite party.

Born on November 24, 1955, Miqati is a graduate of the American University of Beirut's business school and also studied at the prestigious universities of INSEAD and Harvard.

He is married with three children.


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