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Hariri: 'We will never stop trying to protect Lebanon'
 
 
 
 
 
 
14-01-2011
 
Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with President Michel Sleiman in Baabda Palace on Friday, after which Hariri addressed the Lebanese people, stating the facts of current socio-political situation, and promising that he would never stop trying to save the country from strife.

Hariri addressed Sleiman with deepest appreciation for the President's patriotic and responsible role, his cooperation and tireless effort to hold on to the constitution. The meeting between the two officials was an occasion for Hariri to reveal the results of his talks in New York, Washington, Paris, and Ankara. These talks went hand in hand with Hariri's continuous effort to protect Lebanon from strife, "We will never stop trying to protect Lebanon from slipping into the unknown." At a time when Hariri was holding talks with world leaders to find a way out of present political crisis, March 8 Ministers held a mass resignation. "This has opened the gate wide for a governmental crisis, with unknown consequences."

Care-taker Premier relayed the facts to the Lebanese at a time when the future of the country seemed quite uncertain. Hariri lauded Saudi-Syrian meticulous effort which anchored peace and gave birth to the Baabda Tripartite Summit, and set an objective atmosphere to develop a set of ideas and deal with the consequences of the STL. Committed to national unity and common living, action was needed to put these ideas into effect. "We have kept our vows in this respect, especially to the Custodian of the Two Holly Mosques, and anyone related to said ideas." However, when promises were not put into action, it was apparent that personal and national sacrifices were at stake, with no positive results for Lebanon or its government. "This brought brotherly efforts to a dead end," he said.

Sad over this abrupt end of Saudi-Syrian efforts to aid Lebanon, Hariri confirmed that any future attempt in this domain will take place under the good management of King Abdullah bin Abed al Aziz, with the collaboration of President Bashar Assad. Hariri insisted that the helping hand Lebanon got from Saudi Arabia was due to a historic decision taken by King Abdullah bin Abed al Aziz, a decision which will not be hindered by domestic or foreign sabotage attempts.

The resignation of 11 Ministers from the national unity government was a constitutional right, according to Hariri. However, he feared that this would simply mirror Lebanon's failure to form a national unity government. Moreover, the mass resignation of Opposition Ministers went against the spirit of Doha agreement, which all political parties agreed to abide by. To that effect, Hariri was adamant not to allow anyone to tamper with the constitution or bypass the Premier's constitutional responsibilities. "I and all my allies and friends in Parliament will participate in parliamentary consultations, according to the constitution, and will cooperate with the President to the utmost extent in order to form a new government that abides by the needs of national agreement and give the country a chance for reason and logic to win over tension and escalation." Hariri issued a call to a Lebanese that their country needed them, but it also needed wise leadership. National dialogue, once again, won the day as the only solution to Lebanon's problems. "No party can terminate another in Lebanon."

The care-taker Prime Minister promised to sustain his willingness to cooperate with all leaderships on the basis of dialogue and reaching reasonable common solutions to problems, no matter how difficult it may be. "Let it be clear that I never pursued power...and [given the choice] between power and the dignity of my family and pride of the Lebanese, I choose the honor of Lebanon and dignity of Lebanese." Hariri reasserted that no one could force him to accept something that would threaten the unity of Lebanon or harm any group of Lebanese.

Hariri ended by calling upon Lebanese to learn from past experiences and remember that no one was greater than his/her country.
 
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