The Strength of a Leader, the Strength of a Country

As expected, President Aoun came through for the people of Lebanon. Barely three months in power, and he has already started to create tangible and promising changes in the country. His last trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar is a solid proof that he is a man of strong power… and a man of his word. Unlike what some Lebanese entities think of his cabinet, be it a “one-sided cabinet” or having “no balance”, his high-ranking delegation of nine outstanding ministers has proved that his legacy and vision surpass the traditionally failing framework.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Gibran Bassil, Interior Minister, Mr. Nouhad Machnouk, Defense Minister, Mr. Yaacoub Sarraf, Finance Minister, Mr. Ali Hassan Khalil, Economy and Trade Minister, Mr. Raed Khoury, Information Minister, Mr. Melhem Riachi, Education Minister, Mr. Marwan Hamadeh, State Minister, Mr. Pierre Raffoul, and Former Minister Mr. Elias Bou Saab formed the delegation and accompanied President Aoun on his successful trip, and held serious negotiations with their counterparts, for the purpose of bringing positive change to Lebanon and solidifying ties between the countries. While President Aoun met with Commerce and Investment Minister, Mr. Majid El Qassabi, to discuss ways to develop economic and trade relations, Finance Minister, Mr. Mohammad Al Jaadan met Mr. Ali Hassan Khalil and discussed issues of common interest in finance and specific ways to enhance them. For instance, they agreed on finalizing an agreement to be signed soon, designed to prevent double taxation and thus, encourage substantial investment between the two countries. Al Qassabi also met with Mr. Raed Khoury and discussed investment opportunities in the field of agriculture and the development of food industry. There were also serious talks about a joint cooperation in the health sector.

This poised step taken by our president is nothing but a manifestation of his strong vision, his experienced leadership, and ability to take action. In the face of imminent terrorism in the world, he is clearly raising awareness, reaching out to neighboring Arab countries, and joining serious and preemptive efforts in the fight against it. “We are not an isolate island… We are fighting terrorism along our borders to prevent infiltration inside Lebanon… We need cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all the countries because terrorism in no more confined to the Middle East, but has invaded the whole world”, President Aoun asserted after the trip.

Upon the delegation’s return the Lebanon, President Aoun relayed that relations with KSA and other Gulf countries have been successfully restored. Lebanon will soon witness a surge in financial activity and tourism as a result. The full and clear support that he received is but a genuine testimony to his high political acumen and superior leadership. And while skeptics still criticize and question the $3 billion halt of Saudi military aid in 2016, we tell them that steps toward recovery and progress take time, wisdom, and relentless efforts. We need to stay united around President Aoun in his mission to preserve security and stability in Lebanon, and support his goal of rebuilding coexistence, peace, and democracy within Lebanon and the region. These concepts are no longer mere dreams for the Lebanese people. They are the new accessible realities of the new era of democracy — the prosperous era of President Aoun.

The Lebanese people had sorely hoped for years and have finally seen their biggest dream come true. It has become clear to all, that better days are indeed coming to Lebanon, because the strength of a country stems from an unequivocal strength of a leader.

–Marlene Sabeh