Following the first cabinet session Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Gebran Bassil, spoke to the media in a live conference.
He apologized to the Lebanese for the long delay in forming the government and said:
“Today, we will talk about what happened, because this is a right for the Lebanese and so that we can adopt the necessary steps.”
“There were many attempts to prevent the President of the Republic from giving his opinion, receiving his share and getting the Deputy Prime Minister’s seat within the cabinet, in addition to preventing his team from obtaining the one-third veto power.”
“At the level of the Free Patriotic Movement, we have not been able to take the Ministries of Finance, Interior, Labor and Agriculture, and these are two major concessions we have made,” he disclosed.
“At the national level, we could not secure a ministerial seat for Christian and Muslim minorities, but this battle is not over yet. However, we managed to prevent the country from collapsing economically and helped to secure the formation of a government,” Bassil underlined.
“The total government parity was accomplished for the first time since 1990, and cannot be violated until full access to civil status and the rule of equality,” Bassil added.
“We have formed a national unity government that reflects the fair representation and fairness of the criteria, with the sole exception of the Lebanese forces, and that of the consulting meeting, but it’s fine as long as the parity is protected,” continued Bassil.
“This new formation puts an end to unilateralism in the sects and avoids the cancellation of election results as some wished.”
“We are pleased that our bloc is not only formed from the Free Patriotic Movement’s members, but also from the Tashnaq, the Democratic, the Independence Movement, from independents and today from the consultative meeting. Furthermore, our defense minister can take the relationship between the army and the people to another level of civil service because he likes the army and the Lebanese students love him,” ended Bassil.