Aoun pledges to build state, but says reform needs more than seven months

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, reiterated his intention to build the Lebanese state as per the Presidential oath, especially in terms of respecting the constitution and the implementation of laws.

"The Lebanese expectations of this presidential era are high; however, reform cannot be achieved in just seven months because sabotage is easy and of quick results, whereas reconstruction requires time and patience," the President told visiting delegations from the town of Ghazir, Keserwan caza.

"Today, we are suffering a cultural crisis as we lack a complete political culture and suffer a lack of knowledge on the true concept of the state. We have begun to study the ways in which the government can help to make our economy based on production," the President said.

Aoun also hailed efforts exerted by the Lebanese Army and security forces to maintain stability across Lebanon, promising to achieve more positive results in the economic and development fields "despite the difficulties that arise from time to time, and campaigns aimed at obstructing our work."

"The Lebanese should have confidence that reform will be achieved and there is no way to steer clear from this fact," the President added.

Separately, Aoun welcomed head of the Lebanese Red Cross, Dr. Antoine Zoghbi, and the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Haj Amando Si, accompanied by Lebanese Red Cross Secretary General, George Kettani.

Si briefed the President on the activities of the Union, which was founded in 1929 and includes 190 members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and whose office of the Middle East and North Africa region is in Beirut.

The President praised the ICRC's support for the Red Cross, "which enables it to carry out many of the tasks that are at the heart of the work of the international humanitarian organization."

Aoun also stressed the importance of the continued communication with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, pointing out that Beirut office will receive all the required support from the Lebanese side.

He also highlighted the importance of strengthening the activities of the International Federation of the Red Cross in Lebanon through holding conferences and workshops.

Also on Tuesday, and within the framework of international institutions' interest in Lebanon, President Aoun received a delegation from Barclays Bank, including the Chairman of the Regional Board, Makram Azar, and the Regional Head of Markets at the Bank, Walid Mezher, who briefed the President on the Bank's activities in Lebanon and the region, especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Both men expressed Barclays' desire to contribute to the development of the Lebanese economy and investment in the Lebanese economic sectors, especially as Barclays participated in the issuance of treasury bonds by the Ministry of Finance.

Aoun welcomed the visiting delegation and stressed that the process of economic advancement had begun, and was gradually attaining positive results. He also pointed to the growing desire of major banking and international companies to invest in Lebanon, deeming it a proof of confidence in the country's ability to rise again and achieve the goals desired by its people.

On a different level, Aoun telephoned Iraqi President Fouad Massoum, congratulating him on the liberation of Mosul from the clutches of terrorists.

"This achievement is an advanced step towards the restoration of Iraq's unity and health, as well as an important milestone in stabilizing the region as a whole. It also represents a major blow to terrorists, who wish to spread a culture of murder and criminality," Aoun told the Iraqi president.

Source: National News Agency