Ministry of Culture



The presence of the international forces in the South prevents Israel from perpetrating an attack against Lebanon, declared Prime Minister Saad Hariri, while receiving last Tuesday Melhem Karam at the head of the council of the Journalists Association, and he wondered on what the Israeli enemy bases himself to threaten us, while there is no proof confirming the sending of Scud missiles to Hezballah.  

During the meeting, which was attended by Hani Hammoud, media counselor to the prime minister, Karam addressed the prime minister in these terms: “We salute you and bring to you the people’s concerns.
“You have acceded to office while carrying the legacy of Rafik Hariri, something which constitutes a great responsibility.
“This high duty fell on your shoulders at a young age and you are showing faithfulness at the head of a government bringing together the rivals although it is a consensual government. “You have spent only months in the Grand Serail and it is natural that you face opposition from time to time. The Lebanese press can be critical at times since it is the pillar of an institution which is growing, that of public opinion.
“In the name of that public opinion, we have come to you to obtain answers about concerns that the citizens feel, ranging from security to justice, taxes and confronting the enemy. Such are our questions, those of the people. The answer is in your hands, Mr. Prime Minister”.
In his answer, Prime Minister Hariri said: “We are living today amid the elections for municipal councils and moukhtars, polls which are taking place according to the Constitution and within the legal time frame, and as the president of the Republic observed, the reform lies also in respect for the fundamental law. Here, I pay tribute to the Administration and to the Council of Ministers, which remain neutral, ensuring the elections take place in a democratic spirit, to the point that the Mount Lebanon municipal elections took place without any incident. This proves that there is a democracy in this country and that the government fulfills its role.
“On the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrs of the press, I renew our commitment to safeguard freedom of opinion. A large number of journalists fell because of their opinions and of their defense of freedom and democracy. From our side, we commit ourselves to safeguarding the Constitution, which ensures freedom to the Lebanese and to the Lebanese press”.
Concerning the elections, Hariri recalled that in Beirut, “we have recommended and encouraged the entente and held our hand out to all the parties with all our Christian allies… the list will be announced today [Wednesday] and it respects the principle of parity as applied by the martyred [former[ Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 1998. We insisted on conforming to this principle in 2010, since it ensures the principle of coexistence, something which makes Beirut capable to be a beacon of culture and science, indeed, ‘World Book Capital’.
Then he pointed to the challenges to which the Arab region is confronted, the Palestinian on top, who right to the return to their land is recognized and America gave its opinion without beating about the bushes in this regard.
“What is importants are the acts and not the promises and the American administration is the only one which works in favor of the peace between the Palestinian and the Israeli.
We support the Palestinian brothers and their right to have an independent state having Jerusalem as capital. I do not think that there is a Christian or a Muslim who accept another objective, the Sainte City being for all the celestial religions”.
At the end, in reply to a question on the national dialogue and its relation with the municipal elections, Prime Minister Hariri said: “we work in favor of a consensus, but we did not obtain favorable relations on all the line, the municipal elections having their specificity and a character related to the development, culture and family”.
Concerning the relations with Damascus, Hariri supports “that they should be from one state to another. Historical relations binds the two countries and I have established personal relations with President Assad which are evolving without never regressing”.
Concerning the Israeli threats, the prime minister pointed to assurances given by the friendly countries, according to which the maneuvers of the Israeli enemy aim only at poisoning the atmosphere.
To the question: “Do you fear the voting for candidates from different parties instead of for the set list of one party he limits himself to answer: “whoever resorts to the voting for candidates from different parties instead of for the set list of one party betrays the capital; provokes an unbalance and aims at dividing it”.

Date: 5/14/2010
Article Newspaper: Monday Morning
Share This Article