NNA - The Cabinet convened this afternoon, at the Presidential Palace, in a session chaired by President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, and attended by Prime Minister, Najib Mikati and ministers. The Cabinet also approved the policy statement, which the parliament will vote on, and decided the government slogan to be “Together to save”.
President Michel Aoun commended the work of the ministerial committee, “Which quickly accomplished its mission”, and wished all ministers to continue their work, productivity and cooperation, “Since this is one of the main reasons for the government’s success”.
The President also stressed the need to expedite finding solutions to people’s livelihood issues and to prioritize this issue and give it utmost attention, to alleviate the suffering of citizens without delay.
For his part, Premier Mikati emphasized the permanent need for solidarity to achieve the required productivity for the government, and thanked the members of the committee and the ministers who participated for all the cooperation shown. PM Mikati also hoped that this spirit would always prevail for the sake of Lebanon’s interest.
After the session, Information Minister, George Kordahi, read the following statement:
“The Cabinet convened today in a session devoted to approve the ministerial policy statement of the new government. The session was headed by the President of the Republic, and attended by the Prime Minister and ministers.
At the beginning, the President noted the work of the ministerial committee, which is headed by the Prime Minister. The ministerial committee which has quickly accomplished its mission after responsible and purposeful discussions. The President thanked the members of the committee for their tireless work to complete the draft statement, which reflects the seriousness and perseverance to implement required tasks.
Then, the President wished all ministers to continue their work, with productivity and cooperation, because this is one of the main reasons for the government’s success, indicating that “The situation is stressful, time is precious and every minute has its value”.
In addition, the President emphasized the need to expedite finding solutions to people’s livelihood issues and to prioritize this issue with utmost attention, to alleviate the suffering of citizens without delay.
Afterwards, the Prime Minister spoke about the atmosphere of cooperation which prevailed among ministerial committee members, which drafted the ministerial policy statement. The Prime Minister stressed the permanent need for solidarity to achieve the required productivity for the government. Prime Minister Mikati also thanked the members of the committee and the ministers who participated, for the cooperation they showed, and hoped that this spirit would always prevail for the sake of Lebanon’s interest.
In parallel, the text of the policy statement was read, and ministers expressed their observations and amendments. Then, the statement was unanimously approved after introducing minor amendments to it. It was decided, upon the proposal of Prime Minister Mikati, that the government’s slogan would be “Together to save” ”.
Questions & Answers:
Question: What are the amendments to the statement?
Answer: “Amendments are minor and were not in depth on the draft policy statement, but rather to the text and rules, since they were agreed upon by all ministers”.
Question: While you were meeting, there was some kind of chaos because of the lifting of petrol subsidies without any decision?
Answer: “Who said that? This issue wasn’t raised in the session, and it was never discussed. I am not aware of the lifting of subsidies. Is this done without a decision?”.
Question: There has been a development in the entry of Iranian oil into Lebanon. Have you tackled this issue? And what is the position of the government?
Answer: “We didn’t discuss this issue because the session was devoted to discussing and approving the draft policy statement which will be followed by the Parliament next week. As Information Minister, I cannot say the government’s position on this matter because it wasn’t discussed in the session”.
Question: The problems which Lebanon faces are complex, and you face these problems with an ordinary statement?
Answer: “This is not true, no one has seen the statement. There is a lot of talks which were said about differences within the session and during the session which was held to prepare for this statement. All of this isn’t true and I categorically deny it because I was present. As Premier Mikati said, discussions within the preparation committee for the statement were very positive and carried a lot of cordiality and cooperation, and therefore what is being said is incorrect”.
Question: Did you start implementing the law by adopting the term “Mr.” instead of using titles?
Answer: “It seems so. I have been informed not to use the titles of “Excellency”, and although I like these titles, I have adopted the phrase “Mr.””.
Question: Will the promises contained in the policy statement be implemented, and is there a timetable?
Answer: “There was some kind of consultation regarding the launch of this government’s slogan. Most ministers tended to call it “Determination” because determination is there and they are eager to try to solve the problems. Based on the proposal of PM Mikati, the slogan “Together to save” was adopted. Hence, it is a rescue government. As for the existence of a calendar for implementation, there is a willingness to take important decisions to relieve people”.
Question: Didn’t it appear in this session that the citizens suffer from waiting queues?
Answer: “This issue is contained in the policy statement. We must first alleviate the suffering of people. The government must stagger to try to solve the current tragedies, and this is a priority. As for the strategies, they will come at a later time. The priority now is for basic and urgent needs”.
Question: Are the two proposals of reforming and restructuring the banking sector compatible?
Answer: “A discussion took place on this subject, and both issues were agreed upon”.—Presidency Press Office