Cabinet Wins No-Confidence Vote, Miqati Says Govt. Cohesive despite Differencesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The government on Thursday survived a vote of no confidence in parliament, amid a walkout by March 14 MPs and the presence of the Phalange bloc.
The vote of no confidence was requested by Phalange bloc MP Sami Gemayel, who withheld confidence in the government along with only two other lawmakers.
Defending his government following three days of heated parliamentary debate over its policies, Prime Minister Najib Miqati said the government “will rise above all the non-constructive remarks, especially personal insults.”
“I stress that the choice of self-disassociation is our own choice and that it is Lebanese par excellence. It was imposed by the relations with Syria and the conflicting stances of the Lebanese in Lebanon,” Miqati said of his government’s so-called self-disassociation policy towards the Syrian crisis.
“The self-disassociation policy prevented further divides. Has anyone wondered how Lebanon's situation would have been, had the government sided with a certain camp? About the repercussions of such a stance on economy and security?” Miqati added.
He noted that the international community “understands Lebanon's special situation.”
Miqati said the international community had lauded Lebanon’s policy on Syria “as some domestic parties were still questioning this stance.”
Playing down the extent of disputes among the government’s components, the premier stressed that “despite the differences between the government's members, we will not reach the extent of doubting or accusing one another.”
“I have said that I place all my confidence in the ministers and I have not doubted any of them,” he said.
Turning to the issue of Syrian refugees sheltered in Lebanon, Miqati said: “We will continue to perform our duty towards the Syrian refugees, and this is not a favor but rather a duty, until the situations settle down in Syria.”
“The responsibility to protect the border with Syria falls on Lebanon, and Lebanon will not be a path to harm any country and its people and it will be keen on safeguarding its sovereignty,” he said, responding to harsh criticism from the opposition, which accuses the government of turning a blind eye to the deadly Syrian incursions and shootings into Lebanon.
Miqati said “the Taef Agreement is not an agreement for examination, but rather for implementation, and we believe that it is the cornerstone that ensures that the country will remain the country of all its citizens.”
He stressed that “nothing can protect the domestic arena from threats except cooperation between the majority and the opposition.”
“We must highlight the common denominators. Harming security is a ‘red line’ that we are trying to prevent anyone from crossing,” Miqati went on to say.
“The bet is not only on the readiness of the security forces, but also on the awareness of the Lebanese,” he added.