President Michel Aoun on Wednesday voiced Lebanon’s objection to recent signing of gas and oil exploration evaluation contracts with an American company, stressing that such move contradicts the path of indirect negotiations.
In a meeting with the Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Lebanon Ambassador Joanna Wronecka, President Aoun said Lebanon will begin negotiations with the International Monetary Fund in a bid to find practical solutions to the current economic conditions in accordance with the economic plan is referred to in the ministerial statement.
“In conjunction with these negotiations, work will be done to address the electricity file that has been frozen for a while, and to rebuild and rehabilitate Beirut Port while removing the effects of the catastrophic explosion that targeted it last year,” the Lebanese president said, as reported by the Presidency Office.
Aoun also indicated that attention will focus especially on social aspects and addressing poverty cases experienced by a high percentage of Lebanese families, as well as achieving monetary balance in the country.
He also affirmed that parliamentary elections will take place on the scheduled date on May 8, in an atmosphere of democracy and transparency so that the Lebanese voters at home and abroad can carry out their duties freely and responsibly.
“We welcome any assistance that the United Nations can provide in this field” President Aoun added.
In addition, the President reiterated Lebanon’s “commitment to implementing Resolution 1701 in all its aspects, adhering to its rights to its waters and natural resources, and the desire to resume indirect negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime borders.”
“From here we expressed our objection to the Security Council and the United Nations over Israel’s recent signing of gas and oil exploration evaluation contracts with an American company, because this step contradicts the path of indirect negotiations hosted by the United Nations and US mediation, which requires freezing all exploration-related work in the disputed areas awaiting the resolution of the unconditional negotiation track,” President Aoun stressed.