Lebanese President General Michel Aoun expressed readiness on Thursday to meet representatives of the protesters, who have been holding nationwide demonstrations for around a week.
“I acknowledge your fear about the economic reforms and I am ready for constructive dialogue with your representatives which lets us hear your demands and discuss options for solutions,” President Aoun told the protesters in a televised speech.
President Aoun said that all political parties must cooperate to implement the reform plans as set by the latest cabinet session and announced by PM Saad Hariri.
The President considered that the public protests highlight the creativity and livability of the Lebanese, urging the officials to let the citizens regain their trust in the state.
“From the first day I assumed my responsibilities as President, I swore to preserve Lebanon, committed to fiercely fight corruption and managed to move Lebanon to the shore of security and stability,” he added.
“I am committed to the adoption of anti-corruption laws, but this is the power of the Parliament and I ask for your help to approve them,” he said referring to protesters.
All who are involved in the embezzlement of public funds will be held accountable, according to President Aoun who stressed that the protesters’ demands will not go in vain.
Citing the obstacles hindering his projects, President Aoun stressed that the ruling system cannot be changed via public protests, adding that change can only come from within state institutions.
He also urged demonstrators to remove roadblocks, saying freedom of transportation must be respected.
Mass rallies have swept across Lebanon since last Thursday, with Lebanese citizens taking to streets in Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Sidon, Tyre and Nabatiyeh in protest against hard livelihood conditions in the country and the imposition of any new taxes and fees on the poor.
Source: Al-Manar English Website