NNA - President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, stressed that "freedom of expression in Lebanon is protected by the Constitution but unfortunately, it has, at times, reached the point of insult and defamation," stressing that "the ceiling of freedom that must not be surpassed is the truth which ought to be respected by all."
"The rights of citizens are still linked to the sectarian system adopted in Lebanon," he noted.
Affirming “Lebanon's noninvolvement in the cycles of blood and fire surrounding it,” the President noted that he had raised the issue of Palestine in his address to the UN General Assembly because he attaches particular importance to it. "Unfortunately, we did not hear other voices supporting Palestine. It is as if we stand alone in this fight."
Aoun's remarks came during his meeting at the Baabda Palace with a delegation of young men and women from nine Arab countries who participated in the "Fellowship of Democracy Pioneers for the Middle East and North Africa" program organized by the US World Learning Organization.
"My address at the General Assembly featured a condemnation of the United Nations and Israel over the issue [of Palestine]. I addressed the Heads of States wondering how logical it would be for the Palestinians to lose their homeland and their identity overnight. I talked about Jerusalem and the repeated Israeli aggressions," he said to his guests.
"Yesterday, we had a confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his false allegations and his empty accusations against Lebanon to justify any possible attack," Aoun went on to say.
The meeting dealt with political, social and economic issues and the President's vision to the reality of Lebanon, in particular and the whole region in general, as well as the future of Arab youth and women amid the present challenges and concerns.
The President welcomed the participants, pointing to the efforts exerted to give women their rights, "despite some of the problems imposed by Lebanese diversity, both at the sectarian and social levels."
On a different note, Aoun discussed with Governor of the Central Bank, Riad Salameh, the monetary situation in Lebanon, which Governor Salameh described as "stable".