| 2 December 2022, Friday |

Mikati reassigned as PM, stresses need to cooperate with parliament to approve required reform projects

After meeting with President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, newly reassigned PM Najib Mikati made the following statement:

“First of all, I say thank you to those who named me. And thank you also to those who did not name me, because they all exercised their role in democracy. This new assignment bears me today a double responsibility, but the binding trust for all without exception remains with one title: cooperation.

Let us all cooperate today to save our homeland and raise our people, because the responsibility to rescue is a collective responsibility and not the responsibility of an individual. With all honesty, sincerity and impartiality, I extend my hand to everyone without exception, with a good and sincere national will.

Today, the country needs all of us. Our accounts, interests and selfishness will not benefit us if we lose the homeland. What is important today is to be aware that there are still opportunities to salvage what must be salvaged. Together, we are able to lift the country out of its crises. The important thing is that we put our differences aside and get down to completing the arduous workshop that requires us to put before us the salvation of our people and our country as one single goal.

We no longer have the luxury of time, delay and drowning in conditions and demands. We wasted enough time and lost many opportunities for support from brotherly and friendly countries, whose position has always been one and clear: Help yourselves, and we will help you.

We are faced with the challenge of complete collapse or gradual rescue, based on a single opportunity that is available to us at the present time. Over the past months, we entered the door to rescue through negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, and we signed the preliminary agreement, which constitutes a roadmap for solution and recovery, and is subject to modification and improvement as far as the data available for the commitment of the political blocs, and through them the constitutional institutions, to the structural reform path.

In this regard, we must cooperate as soon as possible with the honorable Parliament to approve the required reform projects before completing negotiations in the next stage to complete the final agreement with the IMF and start the full recovery process.

Today, I reiterate that without an agreement with the IMF, the rescue opportunities we seek will not be available, as it is the main crossing point for rescue, and this is expressed by all Lebanon’s friends who express a sincere intention to help us. We are also in the process of completing the basic steps to solve the electricity dilemma that drains the treasury and people’s energies, and we call on everyone to engage in this workshop away from the preconditions and considerations and the experiences that have proven their failure in the recovery of this sector.

From this very place, I call on all political forces for a moment of historic responsibility, a moment in which we all cooperate to complete the actual rescue process with the utmost speed, and with full confidence from the honorable Parliament to put Lebanon on the threshold of the awaited solutions. I call on everyone to meet us in this workshop in a positive and constructive spirit, to combine all our efforts and search for all the reasons for strengthening national partnership and protecting national stability. Let us overcome all the causes of divisions and stakes that destroyed our societies and our economy and hit our institutions.

In conclusion, a word remains to address the Lebanese. I have great confidence in you who have not been subdued by hardship, and have not been defeated by adversity, despite all that has passed on this country throughout its history. With our cooperation, we make strength out of weakness. Together, we resolve to rise, because we believe that there is no salvation for our country without our solidarity and cooperation. This Lebanon, which deserves every possible sacrifice from us, will not be allowed to collapse. We have a lot of work to do, and no time to waste. One look, even a quick look at some of the positives these days, with the onset of the summer, is enough to restore hope that Lebanon will not die, and that it will overcome its ordeal.

I ask God Almighty to direct our steps to what pleases him, and for the good of our beloved country Lebanon. Let peace be upon you”.

  • NNA