Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said that he knows exactly what his prerogatives as Prime Minister-designate are and what the Constitution stipulates in this respect. He is acting accordingly and if any political party has any remarks, let them announce it.
He said: No one specifies a time limit for me except the Lebanese constitution and I am not concerned with what any minister would write and present as a legal explanation, otherwise we will enter a maze that will never end. I am the Prime Minister-designate and I will remain so, and I will form the government in coordination with the President. Period.
He added: The responsibility to accelerate the formation of the government is that of all parties, in order to avoid the economic deterioration in the country. If the government is not formed soon, I will name all those obstructing its formation.
Premier Hariri's stances came during a discussion with journalists after chairing this evening the weekly meeting of the Future parliamentary bloc at the Center House.
Hariri said: I called President Michel Aoun yesterday and informed him that I returned from abroad. We agreed that I make contacts regarding the formation of the government and then visit him within few days. And now I will meet with a number of political parties, and hope that things will be good in the coming days.
He added: There is difficulty in forming this government, which is supposed to last four years. But it is not impossible to form it. Now we reached a stage where everyone knows the shares they are going to get and we are discussing the details with everyone. The most important thing is that no one feels that he lost. The basic principle of the national reconciliation government is to make everyone feel comfortable and where there is no winner or loser. Everyone is a partner in this government and no one wants to break the head of the other. Unfortunately some political parties want to break the head of other parties. I am against this because it will bring us back to a government similar to that of the year 2010.
In answer to a question regarding the statement of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on linking the formation of the government to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, he said: The formation of the government has nothing to do with anything else. It is an issue of shares and political parties wanting more shares and portfolios. As for the STL,
Hezbollah's stance has been clear for a long time and did not change. So this is not new. Me too, everyone knows my stance regarding the tribunal. Even when I went to The Hague, I said from there that all that concerns me is the security and stability of the country, but justice will be achieved. Period.
Hariri described his meeting with Minister Melhem Riachi yesterday as excellent, and said that each political party stands behind its political and media positions, while the basis for forming a national entente government is calmness and genuine dialogue between all parties away from the media.
In response to a question regarding the statement of the Syrian Ambassador today, Premier Hariri said: We haven't closed our doors in the face of anyone in the last seven years. We received all the Syrian refugees and even those who supported the regime. We opened our airport to them all but unfortunately the closure of doors happens from the other side. We are being blackmailed by opening a crossing from here or there, while we didn't blackmail anyone in this regard.
He added: There is a Russian initiative. It is not Syrian but Russian. Minister Gibran Bassil called me before he left to Russia and there was coordination between us. We also talked after his return from Russia and we are coordinating our stances with the Russians. We have to cooperate with the Russians on their initiative. This is our duty. We want the return of the displaced to their country, but everyone knows that no one from the international community is willing to pay a penny to achieve this return.
He continued: Why do we always have to talk about this issue as if there is a team that supports the return of the displaced Syrians and a team that is against it? We all support their return, but the most important thing is that they return voluntarily. This is a vital issue for Lebanon and we have to deal with it properly to be able to ensure the return of the displaced Syrians voluntarily, in a secure way and with the help of the international community. Even the Russians will not be able to return the displaced without international assistance or without paying money to the regions to which the displaced will return. This issue should be solved slowly and in cooperation with everyone. But to say that someone should have a relation with the Syrian regime, this is not the issue. Even the Russians, when they came to Beirut, talked about a voluntary return with the participation of the UNHCR. We fight among each other just to gain political stances, this is shameful. The relation with the regime is not the problem.
Source: National News Agency