Via a video message, President Michel Aoun assured world leaders that despite internal or international challenges, the new Lebanese government, formed this month, “would win the confidence of the people and the international community”.
As successive crises “exploded simultaneously” over the past two years, Lebanon has experienced its most difficult times, according to the president.
“Indeed, the financial and economic policies adopted for decades and based on the profit-based model, in addition to the corruption and waste resulting from mismanagement and lack of accountability, had pushed Lebanon into an unprecedented financial and monetary crisis that led to an economic crisis. stagnation, a stifling livelihood crisis and rising rates of unemployment, migration and poverty, ”Aoun said.
However, he informed the Assembly that the government is committed to carrying out its urgent financial and economic reforms; fight against corruption; and establish a safety net plan.
The president also noted that Lebanon relies on the international community to fund vital projects aimed at revitalizing the economy, creating jobs and helping the nation recover from “corruption crimes”.
Impacts of the Syrian War
Regional wars have also contributed to the country’s crises, particularly that in Syria, which has caused the influx of more than 1.5 million people into Lebanon.
He painted a picture of the economic, social, health and security “catastrophic results” of displacement, calling on the international community to help ensure the safe return of the displaced.
south of the border
The president reiterated Lebanon’s position to reject other Palestinian refugees, “on the basis of the need to find a solution to the Palestinian question”.
He also drew attention to “persistent Israeli threats” as Lebanon’s “main concern”, while highlighting Jerusalem’s efforts to search for oil and gas in the disputed area at the sea borders.
President Aoun condemned attempts to transgress the borders of the Exclusive economic zone and demanded that indirect negotiations for the demarcation of the southern maritime borders be resumed in accordance with international law.
The repercussions of the coronavirus
Repercussions of COVID-19[female[feminine pandemics were “exponentially larger” in Lebanon because they exacerbated an already fragile economy; a health sector struggling with a shortage of drugs, medical supplies and fuel; and a human flight of doctors and nurses who migrated for economic reasons.
To date, the country’s immunization rate has reached 30 percent and the president said, “We are striving to exceed the target of 40 percent by the end of the year.”
Beirut explosion, one year later
In the midst of these crises, the catastrophic explosion of the port of Beirut further aggravated the suffering.
“Today, more than a year later, our capital continues to be calm and gloomy, as it remains a disaster city“, he said.
Describing international solidarity as “commendable”, he stressed that Lebanon is investigating the causes and circumstances of the explosion and has made numerous arrests.
In conclusion, President Aoun declared: “as Lebanon tries tenaciously to forge its way towards recovery, it relies on international solidarity to achieve its goals”.
Read the full statement here.