Prime Minister Saad Hariri reassured Tuesday on the fate of the political settlement with President Michel Aoun following a war of words between their two parties.
Speaking to a delegation from the Press Order that visited him at the Grand Serail, Hariri stressed that his decision is to “work for the sake of citizens, the economy and Lebanon” and not to waste time on “futile political bickering.”
“None of the political parties wants to stop the government's work,” Hariri added, noting that electricity plan “will be finalized soon” and that preparations are ongoing to pass a state budget as soon as possible.
As for the political settlement that led to Aoun's election and his appointment as premier, the prime minister said “this settlement is like a Maronite marriage,” in which there is no divorce.
“The only reason is related to Lebanon's interest and the president and I have taken a decision and despite all political bickering, communication will continue,” he added.
“I reassure you that no dispute can bring the work to a halt, neither with the Free Patriotic Movement nor with the AMAL Movement, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Lebanese Forces or the Marada Movement. And even despite the known and public disputes with Hizbullah, there is a decision by us and them to prevent the disputes from halting the government's work,” Hariri pointed out.
Turning to the thorny issue of Syrian refugees, the premier said all political parties want them to return home “but the question is how to achieve this issue.”
“The refugee problem is a problem for all Lebanese, not for a party without the other... As for the talk about normalization with the (Syrian) regime, Lebanon has adopted the dissociation policy and it abides by the Arab League's stance and resolutions on the Syrian regime,” Hariri added.
“Where is Lebanon's interest in pitting it in a confrontation with the Arab League and the international community?” he asked.
Hariri also reassured that “no one, whether directly or indirectly, has expressed an open or a veiled intention to naturalize refugees in Lebanon” at “all the international conferences” that he has taken part in, such as CEDRE and Brussels.
“This is not on the table and will not happen. Our constitution categorically rejects it and there is Lebanese unanimity on this,” he went on to say.
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