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Lebanon: Mikati's Gov't Presents Exceptional Social, Financial Measures

Lebanon: Mikati's Gov't Presents Exceptional Social, Financial Measures

Tuesday, 21 September, 2021 - 11:00
President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Baabda Palace. (Photo: NNA)

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati presented his cabinet’s ministerial statement, promising exceptional economic, social and financial measures with an emphasis on national constants and adherence to the constitution.

Lebanon’s new government won a vote of confidence on Monday for a policy program that aims to remedy the economic crisis.

Addressing the deputies, Mikati said: “Our government is present here today to gain confidence, in a circumstance that necessitates exceptional approaches amid a stifling economic, social, financial and living crisis…”

The prime minister highlighted the national constants that will govern the government’s work, citing “commitment to the provisions of the Constitution and the National Accord Document, respect for international laws and covenants and all resolutions of international legitimacy, commitment to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701, and continued support for the United Nations forces operating in the South.”

He also emphasized Lebanon’s call on the international community to put an end to the permanent Israeli violations and threats to Lebanese sovereignty, by land, sea and air.

Mikati affirmed “absolute support of the army and all security forces in controlling security along the borders and at home.”

Regarding Hezbollah, Mikati’s government reiterated “adherence to the truce agreement, the complete liberation of the occupied Lebanese territories… and the right of Lebanese citizens to resist the Israeli occupation.”

On the issue of Palestinian and Syrian refugees, the ministerial statement underlined “the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland” and “the safe return of displaced Syrians,” while expressing rejection of any integration or resettlement plans.

The statement pointed to “strengthening Lebanon’s relations with the brotherly Arab countries…calling on the Arab brothers to stand by Lebanon.” It also stressed the importance of activating the “engagement with the international community and its European partner in a way that serves the higher interests of the country.”

The government affirmed its “commitment to holding the parliamentary elections on time.”

Regarding the economic and financial situation, the government pledged to “immediately resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reach an agreement on a support plan, and to adopt a short and medium-term rescue program...”

It also vowed to develop a plan to reform and restructure the banking and revitalize the economic cycle, giving priority to ensuring the rights and funds of depositors and seeking to pass a law on capital control.

On the social level, Mikati’s government stressed the need “to secure an economic-social-health safety net to restore the purchasing power, activate the relevant social institutions, put the financing card project into effect... and reactivate the loans provided by the Public Housing Corporation.”

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