Council of Ministers confirms legislative elections top priority

e Council of Ministers convened in session on Wednesday afternoon at the Grand Serail, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, with 32 items on its agenda.

In the wake of the session, Information Minister, Melhem Riachy, briefed the press on Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s address to convening ministers.

Premier Hariri praised the word delivered by the President in front of Arab and foreign diplomatic corps.

“I assure you that our government’s priority is to conduct the parliamentary elections. There are no intentions or desire, neither explicit nor implicit, to extend the Parliament’s term,” Hariri assured, noting that “all the political forces within the government are involved in the translation of this approach, as much as they are concerned in reaching a consensus on the production of a new election law with common standards that ensure fair representation.”

“The Middle East conference in Paris reaffirmed the two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is a solution that Israel is working to disable. This is an achievement for the French diplomacy. The positions of President Francois Hollande were fair and courageous,” he went on.

“We reiterate that there will be no solution except on the basis of the Arab peace initiative adopted in Beirut and the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital,” Hariri said, slamming “Israel’s settlement policy aimed at imposing a fait accompli that would torpedo any peace process.”

“Lebanon will always cling to the unanimous Arab decisions and to the full rights of its Palestinian brothers, especially the right of return. We will hold on to the unanimous rejection of resettlement as stipulated by the Lebanese constitution,” the Prime Minister assured.

On a different noted, Hariri said “I am in constant contact with the Turkish government to find out the results of the investigation conducted with the terrorist who was arrested on charges of carrying out the Istanbul terrorist crime which claimed the lives of a number of Lebanese citizens.”

Responding to questions by the press, Riachy said that the Lebanese Petroleum Administration’s (LPA) financial system item has been postponed to be discussed during the next cabinet session, which will be held at Baabda Presidential Palace under the chairmanship of President of the Republic, Michel Aoun.

Riachy also relayed the cabinet’s keenness on thrashing out Costa Brava and Beirut airport quandary “in solidarity”.

“We have meticulously discussed the matter. As for grants involving this matter, there will be done extensive studies by the environmental committee tasked to radically resolve this issue,” the Minister explained.

Riachy also confirmed that all the other items that were on today’s cabinet agenda have been endorsed, adding that the next cabinet session will be held on Wednesday.