For his part, President of the Republic General Michel Aoun stressed the importance of continuing negotiations and completing the American role “from the position of an honest and just mediator.” At the same time, Aoun left the door open to the possibility of re-activating the issue of the decree, indicating that “Lebanon has the right to develop its position according to its interest and in line with international law and in accordance with constitutional principles.”
President Aoun called for “the accreditation of international experts to demarcate the line and a commitment not to carry out oil or gas work and not to start any exploration work in the Karish field and in the adjacent waters,” stressing that he would not compromise “Lebanese sovereignty, rights and interests.” He also stressed “the need for the demarcation of borders to be the subject of consensus among the Lebanese.”
As for Hill, after his meeting with Aoun yesterday, he said, “America stands ready to facilitate negotiations on the maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel on the basis that we started in these discussions.” He emphasized that “international experts could be brought in, if necessary, to help inform us all.”
Later, the General Directorate of the Presidency of the Republic issued a statement read by Aoun’s media and political advisor, Antoine Constantine, in which there was confirmation from the President of the Republic on three points:
1- He is entrusted with sovereignty, rights and interests, and he will not neglect them.
Diab has not yet been informed by the Iraqi side of a date to visit Baghdad!
2- Lebanon spared any negative repercussions that may result from any careless stance.
3- Make every effort to make border demarcation a subject of consensus among the Lebanese and not a subject of division, with the aim of strengthening Lebanon’s position in the negotiations.
In his statement, after the meeting, Hill touched on the economic and political crisis. He said, “The time has now come to form a government and not obstruct it. Now is the time for comprehensive reform.” America and the international community are ready to help. But you cannot help without the Lebanese partner. And those who continue to obstruct the progress of the reform agenda, risk their relationship with the United States and its partners and expose themselves to punitive measures. ” He added, “As for those working to facilitate progress, they can rest assured of our strong support.”
As in all of his meetings, Hill did not forget to assign responsibility for the collapse to Hezbollah, considering that “Hezbollah’s accumulation of dangerous weapons, smuggling and other illegal and corrupt activities undermine the legitimate state institutions and rob the Lebanese of the ability to build a peaceful and prosperous country.” He also said that “Iran is feeding and financing this challenge to the state and this distortion of Lebanese political life.” At the same time, however, he reiterated that “a mutual return to compliance with the nuclear agreement with Iran is in our interest and in the interest of regional stability, but it will only be the beginning of our work.” In a message to the allies in Lebanon, Hill reassured that America “will not abandon its interests and its friends in Lebanon” after the revival of the nuclear agreement.
Hariri – Putin: A connection, not a meeting
In addition, it was remarkable that Saad Hariri’s visit to Moscow was not culminated in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but rather a phone call made by Hariri from his residence in the guesthouse of the Russian Foreign Ministry was satisfied. However, Hariri’s advisor, George Shaaban, explained in a call with the “new”, that this was not surprising, and the delegation was aware of it, and it is returning to the measures that the Kremlin is following to prevent the Corona virus. He also mentioned that Hariri was formally received as Prime Minister of Lebanon.
It was noteworthy that the official statement issued by Hariri’s office, based on what he described as “the sources of the Lebanese delegation,” indicated that the call, “which lasted for fifty minutes, was excellent.” It focused on the governmental crisis in Lebanon, during which it was stressed the need to form the new government as soon as possible. The research also touched on the prospects for cooperation between Lebanon and Russia in the field of combating the Corona pandemic, and the possibility of Russia providing Lebanon with quantities of the necessary vaccine. The understanding was reached to continue discussions between the Russian and Lebanese sides to benefit from the Russian support for Lebanon in various fields and to facilitate the ground for Russian companies to invest in Lebanon and Lebanese companies to invest in Russia.
For his part, a statement issued by the Kremlin stated that “Hariri briefed Putin on developments in the internal situation in Lebanon, as well as on the initial measures to form the new government and overcome the economic crisis.” The Russian side affirmed Russia’s principled position in support of Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
In a related context, Hariri held talks with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin at the Russian Prime Ministry headquarters, on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region and the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“The difficulty of the situation now is in forming a government of specialists in order to carry out all the required reforms,” Hariri told his host. But when we form the government and carry out the necessary reforms, we want you to know that we want to see all Russian companies come to Lebanon to invest in it in the existing facilities, whether electricity, ports, roads, or everything related to infrastructure. ”
Diab to Qatar: I will not raise support
While Hariri was holding official talks in his capacity as Prime Minister, President Hassan Diab was presiding over a meeting on the topic of the fuel crisis, attended by the Minister of Energy and Water in the caretaker government, Raymond Ghajar, and the Director General of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, in addition to a number of general managers and owners of oil companies.
After the meeting, the Minister of Energy said: “It became clear to us that the main reason for the gasoline crisis is smuggling out of Lebanese territory because of the difference in prices between Lebanon and Syria. The price of a petrol plate in Lebanon is 40 thousand Lebanese pounds, while the official price in Syria reaches 140 thousand pounds, and on the black market it reaches 240 thousand pounds. ” He said that the solution is to control the price of this material, and the subsidy will not be raised before the financing card is approved as part of the rationing plan. Roma called on citizens not to rush to buy and store gasoline because the government will not lift subsidies soon.
In the meeting, Diab reaffirmed that under the caretaker government, the subsidies will not be lifted, unless Parliament passes a law covering the financing card credits.
On the other hand, the government departments did not inform their Iraqi counterparts of a date for Diab to visit Baghdad, instead of the date of April 17, which was previously postponed by the Iraqi side, without explaining the reasons or setting an alternative date. At the same time, Al-Akhbar learned that Diab will visit the Qatari capital, Doha, next Sunday, on Tuesday. Not one of the ministers will accompany Diab to Doha, as the delegation is limited to Diab and his advisor, Khader Talib, and Lahoud Lahoud, the director of protocol in the prime minister, and the rest are security men. Diab still surrounds the news of the visit with a cordon of secrecy, noting that it will be his first abroad since he took office, after canceling his visit to Cairo months ago, without knowing the fate of his postponed visit to Baghdad.
Subscribe to «News» on YouTube Here