NNA - In the framework of his traditional protocol tour of former heads of government, Prime Minister Saad Hariri visited this afternoon Premier Minister Salim Hoss at his residence in Aisha Bakkar, in the presence of Hoss's advisor Refaat Badawi and Hariri's chief of staff Nader Hariri.
After the meeting, Hariri said: "I visited Premier Hoss, who is an elder brother, in order to check on his health and listen to his advices concerning the government. I thank him for his advices."
Hariri then visited Premier Najib Mikati at his residence in Beirut, and said after the meeting: "I had the honor to meet with PM Mikati. I listened to his advices concerning the formation of the government and I thank him for them. We are friends and will remain, we have a long journey together, there is a lot of work and all of us must cooperate because the challenges and the risks are big."
Question: Are you optimistic about a fast formation of the government?
Hariri: I am optimistic that this new term will achieve. Yes, we have challenges, but I have confidence in President Michel Aoun, we will work together because we believe that the country needs our work 24 hours per day, and hopefully the formation will take place soon.
Hariri then visited former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora at his residence in Bliss Street.
After the meeting, Hariri said: "I met with Premier Siniora and listened to his advices concerning the next government, we are always on the same line, seeking to gather the Lebanese and trying to involve as many people as possible in this government, especially that it has clear tasks in terms of the budget and the affairs of citizens. Therefore, everyone should participate in this government.
We will cooperate with everyone. I heard the views of Premier Siniora in this regard and informed him about my meetings with Premiers Salim Hoss and Najib Mikati, and now I'm heading to meet with Premier Tamam Salam to complete these consultation, and tomorrow the parliamentary consultations will take place, and we are working as quickly as possible to be able to form a government."
Premier Siniora said: "This visit was an opportunity for me to congratulate the Prime Minister on the confidence expressed by the representatives of the nation who nominated him in these consultations, and I wish him all the best. There is no doubt that the Lebanese are aware that the situation in the country is difficult, at various national levels, this is why we said yesterday that Prime Minister Saad Hariri is the man of this era, because this heavy load needs strong shoulders, thankfully Premier Hariri has the strength, the will, the determination and patience to meet these challenges, which require the cooperation of all the political society. So I wish Prime Minister Hariri all the best and I tell him: We will be by your side in whatever you need, May God be with you."
PM Hariri added, jokingly: "Premier Siniora and I are with President Aoun. Siniora then said: "I said from the first day, after the elections in parliament, that this is the vitality of the democratic system. We now have a President of the Republic, and therefore we have to be together. We all sail on the same boat. If anything happens to this boat, not just the government or the president of the republic, but all the Lebanese would be harmed. Therefore, we have to stand by the president and the Prime Minister."
At the end of his tour, Hariri visited Musaytbe where the caretaker prime minister Tamam Salam received him.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Hariri said: "I saved the best for last, I came to a Beiruti house, a Lebanese house, the house of Saeb Salam, and no matter what I say about Tamam Salam, I cannot do him justice. He has loyalty and honesty, and these qualities are rarely found in people. He endured a lot and not many can endure what he went through. He did it for the Lebanese in a very difficult and important stage in the history of Lebanon, and his patience saved Lebanon and all the Lebanese and I tell him: Thank you for your patience, I appreciate your wisdom and your way of dealing with everyone, thank you your Excellency."