NNA - In a chat with journalists before chairing the Future Bloc meeting at the Center House, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri responded as follows to journalists' questions:
Question: What is the nature of the committee that the Russian ambassador spoke about today?
Hariri: The committee that Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin talked about is for follow-up and coordination with the Russian side exclusively. The security committee will be purely about security and has not yet been formed. It will consist of representatives from the army, the Internal security forces and General security.
Question: Are we back to zero on the subject of the government?
Hariri: A lineup was proposed, there might be some things that need modification and we will consult with everyone.
Question: Are you willing to modify some things?
Hariri: We will see, the president of the republic is abroad and I was abroad as well. Communication continues with everyone. Upon the return of President Aoun, we will continue consultations.
In response to a question, he said: "There is always talk that the lineup needs to respect the results of the elections. It is the Parliament decides this”.
Question: Is President Aoun escalating when he says that he wants to send a message to Parliament?
Hariri: I do not think so. This was raised some time ago, but not anymore.
Question: Are the problems still the same?
Hariri: I think that things are unravelling, and it is time to reach salvation. The formation of the government should not be presented as a challenge between the parties. We must consider the economic, social and environmental challenges and all the regional challenges that confront us. The distribution of portfolios is secondary.
Question: What about your position in front of the Special tribunal, especially that some welcomed your statement while there was resentment from another team?
Hariri: Whoever assassinated Rafic Hariri will pay the price sooner or later. The important thing is the country. We want to complete Rafic Hariri's path. At the same time we are aware of the challenges. There are different points of views, so what should we do? Do we ruin the country or work to protect it? Some want to ruin the country and others want its stability. I am one of those who seek the stability of the country, and knowing the truth in itself is the way to justice. How did we deal with the tribunal at first and how are we dealing with it today? Things changed, all political parties changed, even those who were against it. There is more awareness and all the parties are working on this basis.
Question: What do you say to those who are skeptical about the Tribunal ?
Hariri: There are skeptics who deserve replies, and others who do not deserve any reply. The tribunal has shown professionalism in its work and that is a reality that everyone must deal with.
Question: Former Speaker Hussein Husseini said in an interview that it is not true that there is no deadline for the Prime Minister-designate to form a government, especially that the Constitution gave the government a deadline of 30 days to present its statement. Does this mean that the Prime Minister-designate has a deadline?
Hariri: I respect Speaker Husseini, but the constitution is clear in this matter. It gives a deadline for the ministerial statement to gain the government's confidence, but its formation is something else.