| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

President Aoun follows-up on fire extinguishing operations in Akar and Hermel

General Michel Aoun, President of the Republic, continues to monitor the operations to put out the fires that erupted in Akkar and Hermel yesterday.

The President heard briefings from the Army and Civil Defense Commands on the progress of firefighting operations, as well as early data on the magnitude of forest tree losses.

In addition, the President was briefed on the evacuation operations carried-out by the Lebanese Red Cross for the people whose homes are located close to the fire zone, while Army helicopters, Civil Defense teams and volunteers continued their firefighting operations.

Moreover, President Aoun asked security apparatuses to work hard to contain and put out this fire, while preventing its spread to houses and residential areas, and providing assistance to the people who were forced to leave their houses. President Aoun also condoled the families of the volunteer martyr, Amin Melhem, who passed away yesterday while fighting the fire.

Minister Shreim:

President Aoun received Displaced Minister, Dr. Ghada Shreim, today at the Presidential Palace, and discussed with her ministerial affairs, especially the ceremony which will be held next Monday 2nd of August.

The ceremony will convene at the Grand Serail, under the auspices of Premier, Dr. Hassan Diab, to launch the website of local and rural development data for Lebanese regions. This falls within the framework of the work of the Ministerial Committee for Rural Development and Strengthening the Social Safety Net.

Minister Shreim had referred to the cooperation with the Impact Platform in the Central Inspection Unit, pointing out that during the ceremony, the national program for rural and local development will be addressed. This program will include a road map, motivation study and building an information base and a national development strategy, in addition to the data site on the situation of local and rural development for all Lebanese regions.

Maronite Representative in the Cypriot Parliament:

The President also met the Maronite Representative in the Cypriot Parliament, Mr. John Musas.

Musas conveyed the greetings of Cypriot Maronites and their   success wishes for the President, in leading Lebanon to a shore of safety and a way out of the current difficult it passes through.

Mr. Musas briefed President Aoun on the suffering of the Maronite Cypriots who are unable to return to their four villages in Northern Cyprus, before they had left in the 1974 events. Mr. Musas also thanked the President and stressed the continuation of the struggle, especially as the years are passing and people are deprived from returning to their houses and investing in their lands, which are now located in the so-called “Turkish Cyprus. Turkish military barracks were built in three villages.

Villages are: Kormakitis, Asomatos, Ayamarina and Karpacha.

For his part, President Aoun affirmed his constant interest in the conditions of the Cypriot Maronites, emphasizing his quest to facilitate their return to their villages, especially since the Chairman of the “Strong Lebanon” bloc, MP Gebran Bassil, made diplomatic contacts with the Turkish authorities, while he was Foreign Affairs Minister, to achieve this return. Although some difficulties were encountered in the work of the Lebanese-Cypriot joint committee, which was established for this purpose.

Condoling Mufti Al-Mays:

President Aoun expressed his sorrow for the death of the Mufti of Zahle and Beqaa, Sheikh Khalil Al-Mays, who passed away after a long life in the service of Lebanon and the people of the Beqaa from various religious, social, educational and humanitarian institutions, which he had supervised or contributed to establishing.

The President noted Al-Mays’s contributions to Islamic-Christian dialogue and the consolidation of living and bringing Lebanese of different sects together.

In appreciation of the late Mufti, President Aoun awarded the National Cedar Order (Commander Rank), and assigned MP, Salim Aoun to represent him at the funeral which will be held this afternoon, at Miksy town in the Beqaa.