NNA - Upon the invitation of Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a ceremony was held this evening at the "Center House" entitled "Loyalty to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council States".
The ceremony was attended by the Head of the Future Parliamentary Bloc Fouad Siniora, Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Samir Mokbel, Ministers Wael Abu Faour, Michel Pharaon, Rashid Derbas, Akram Chehayeb and Nabil de Freige, former Ministers Marwan Hamadeh, Mohamad Safadi, Adnan Kassar and Hassan Mneimne, and a large number of MPs, businessmen, journalists, economic figures, representatives of civil society and dignitaries.
The ceremony was an occasion to launch the signing of a petition expressing "Solidarity with the Arab consensus and loyalty to the Arab brotherly states."
At the onset of the ceremony, Premier Hariri delivered the following statement:
"Today's meeting is entitled: Loyalty to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council States.
Loyalty to the Kingdom means loyalty to Lebanon and offending the Kingdom means offending Lebanon. If diplomacy is the policy of rounding corners, some want it to be the policy of destroying Lebanon's relations with its Arab brothers.
The withdrawal of the Lebanese diplomacy from the Arab consensus is a sin and Lebanon, the Lebanese people and the military and security forces are paying its price. Not respecting morals and the national interest in addressing brotherly countries is a political crime against the State and the interests of the Lebanese.
We are gathered here to say in a loud voice that we will return any insults addressed to Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States. We are here to say that no one can cancel Lebanon's Arabism and that the positions in the State and the governmental institutions are not protectorates for the Iranian policies in the region. We paid with blood and martyrs and will continue the path of peaceful national struggle to protect Lebanon's Arabism and the integrity of its people.
The history of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States is known and crystal clear. These States stretched their white hands to Lebanon with goodness, peace, construction and safety. They did not use Lebanon's youth and sects to fight in the wars of others, and they did not ask Lebanon to be an arena for the chaos of weapons and armed men.
Today we tell the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its leadership, and the leaders of the Arab Gulf that the rogue voices attacking you do not speak in the name of Lebanon and the Lebanese and do not represent them. These are the voices of those who turned against Arabism and withdrew from the national consensus. We will not give them the chance to seize the Lebanese Republic regardless of the challenges.
We will remain the sons of the State and will not hand the State to anyone. Our choice is the State, and our project is to build the State, we did not surrender before and we will never surrender now. Our identity is Arabism and our destiny is Arabism.
We promise all honorable and liberal Lebanese: Lebanon will remain loyal to its Arab identity and to its brothers, we will not allow its downfall into Iran's abyss. We will not allow the handing over of Lebanon to the project of discord and of partition of the region.
On behalf of all of you, I call on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz not to abandon Lebanon and to continue supporting it.
All Lebanese are called upon on this day to express solidarity with themselves, and with the protection of the Lebanese State and its interests. I call upon all Lebanese without exception, from all regions and sects, all Lebanese, residents and expatriates, to sign a petition of solidarity with the Arab consensus, and of loyalty to the brotherly Arab countries. This petition will be the first step to correct the role of Lebanon and protect its Arab belonging.
Dear Lebanese, let us all sign."
Here is the text of the petition:
"In order to preserve Lebanon's higher interest.
Based on the responsibility of Lebanon, as founding member of the Arab League,
We are the signatories of this national petition confirm the following:
1. The commitment of the Lebanese people and State to the obligations of the Arab consensus.
2. The rejection of the campaigns that distort the image of Lebanon and harm its fraternal relations with our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
3. The appeal to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and to the leaders of the GCC countries, not to abandon Lebanon and to continue supporting it.
Lebanon will remain a model of coexistence, loyal to its Arab belonging, and strong in its commitment to the independence of its country and its free decision".
At the end, Premier Hariri and the attendance signed the text of the petition.