Prime Minister Saad Hariri said that “we as politicians should sacrifice for the country’s sake and preserve stability because it is essential for the country’s progress and advancement.” He added: “There is a dangerous plot in the region and we should preserve Lebanon and keep it away from neighboring wars and fires.”
Hariri was addressing at his office in the Grand Serail representatives of Beiruti families and dignitaries who came to congratulate him for forming the government and winning the vote of confidence.
Hariri welcomed the delegation and said: “We hope the New Year will be a new beginning. We are here to serve you and to serve the people. The government will immediately begin studying the vital projects and solving the problems from which the citizens are suffering all over Lebanon, and in the capital in particular, namely electricity, water, traffic, and public transport.”
He added: “We should build on the consensus that exists today in the country to reach the Lebanon that the Lebanese want and I am here to serve this project. I know that a lot of work needs be done and there are many problems especially for the youth who are leaving the country. Thus, we have to work to improve Lebanon, activate the economy and make Beirut once again the jewel it was before. This will hopefully happen and we will all work together to achieve this goal. I call on anyone who has a vision or an idea to discuss it with me and I need the support of each and every one of you because this country proved that we should work together and preserve national unity.”
He said: “We as politicians should sacrifice for the country’s sake, even in politics, because stability is essential, we should not hinder the country for the sake of political differences and we should not put obstacles, because it has become clear that the major political differences are not religious or sectarian but purely political. There are some who wanted to turn these differences into sectarian or religious problems, but I am not like that at all. I will continue the path of martyr Premier Rafic Hariri who used to round off the angles for the country’s sake.
The most important things for us now is to restore Beirut’s glory and make sure it is under no one’s mercy, whether regarding the waste crisis, electricity, or others. What is important also is to restore tourism as it was before and create new job opportunities for the youth so they remain in their land. In the coming weeks, Beirut Municipality will launch a number of projects regarding garbage or electricity in order to meet the needs of the capital.
As for the country’s progress, we should not calculate who wins or who loses but keep Lebanon winning all the time. There are continuous attempts to disrupt, but what is important for us is to continuously strive to overcome these attempts, for the advancement of Lebanon and the capital in particular. We paid a very high price for that with the blood of martyr Premier Rafic Hariri who always sought to achieve progress and advancement for the capital and sacrificed his life for that. He did not make this sacrifice to perpetuate divisions or sectarianism or to have winners or losers, but he always worked for the country’s interest and for the development of the capital and Lebanon”.
He concluded: “There is a dangerous plot in the region, and I have to preserve Lebanon. We have to do our utmost to keep our country far from the wars and fires in the region. Our commitment to moderation has proved its usefulness in sparing Lebanon many slides. Moderation, and not extremism, is the strength, knowing that extremism has no religion or sect and is not restricted to Muslims. There are attempts to accuse the people of Tripoli, Akkar or others of terrorism. All these attempts proved their futility and failure. Thus, it is my duty to achieve progress for the country with you, and for you and for your children and our children.”
Hariri also received today the State Minister for Refugees’ Affairs Mouin al-Merehbi and former Minister Rashid Derbas. Discussions focused on the situation of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Later, he met with a delegation from the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE), in the presence of his advisor Mazen Hanna and discussed with them financial and monetary.
He also received the Lebanese Athlete Maxim Chaya.
Separately, Hariri received congratulatory letters on forming the government from the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani, and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Jordan’s Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef al – Othaimeen, and UNESCO representative in Lebanon Hamed Al-Hammami.
Premier Hariri also received a letter from the Premier of the State Council at the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang who congratulated him on the New Year.