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Aoun: Hariri Will Remain Lebanon’s PM

Aoun: Hariri Will Remain Lebanon’s PM

Thursday, 30 November, 2017 - 09:30
Lebanese President Michel Aoun meets with Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon November 27, 2017. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that the latest crisis that emerged when Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation was “behind us” and that Hariri “will continue to lead the government.”

In an interview with La Stampa, Aoun stressed that a final solution to the crisis would be reached within few days after the different political parties expressed their full confidence in the prime minister.

Aoun, who started an official visit to Italy on Wednesday, said in response to a question on whether Hariri would remain in his post: “Certainly. We have just concluded our consultations with various political forces inside and outside the government, and there is full confidence in him.”

The Lebanese president defended Hezbollah, saying that the party “fought ISIS terrorists in Lebanon and abroad, and when the war against terrorism ends, his fighters will return to the country.”

“We must realize that Hezbollah is a Lebanese resistance force that has emerged in the face of Israeli aggression; it’s a popular resistance,” he stated.

On the situation in Syria, Aoun pointed out that it was moving toward a political agreement, adding that change would happen in the regime.

It is likely that “the political structure of the country will develop into a more democratic direction, for the sake of stronger coexistence between the different confessions,” according to the Lebanese president.

He also said that peace in Syria was very important to Lebanon, underlining the burdens of hosting a great number of refugees. “We want them to return [to Syria] as soon as possible,” he noted.

The president spoke about “the achievements of the Lebanese army in the fight against terrorism and the arrest of terrorists trying to infiltrate into the country.”

Aoun will inaugurate the international Med Dialogues conference, which will be hosted by the Italian foreign ministry and the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) from Nov.30 till Dec. 2.

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