The Council of Ministers held its weekly meeting on Wednesday at the Grand Serail and discussed an agenda of 60 items.
After the meeting, Acting Minister of Information, Minister of Social Affairs, Pierre Abou Assi, read the following official decisions:
"The Council of Ministers held its weekly meeting, chaired by the President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri, who spoke about the importance of fully supporting the Lebanese Army. He said: "The Lebanese army accomplishes its mission of fighting terrorism and preserving the security of the citizens and stability in all regions. We reiterate our full support to the army in fighting terrorism and all the missions it is carrying. A transparent investigation is being carried out by the army to uncover the circumstances of the death of some persons it detained."
Prime Minister Hariri then spoke about the issue of coordination between the ministries saying: "It is necessary to focus on completing work in all ministries and speeding up the formalities of the citizens."
He added that any achievement in a ministry is an achievement for the government as a whole, pointing out that specialized ministerial meetings might be held to discuss the socio economic situation.
He said: "What is required is to work on the reduction of the deficit, by reducing expenditures and securing new revenues, which will positively reflect on the general economic situation."
After that, the council discussed the agenda and approved most of its 60 articles, particularly the item about renewable energy.
The council also discussed the mechanism for administrative appointments and all ministers gave their points of view on the issue. Discussion on the subject was postponed for further consultations.
Question: Was there any disagreement on the appointments mechanism?
Abou Assi: "There were differences in views and this is normal in any democracy. Each minister expressed his assessment of the situation. But all ministers want the appointments mechanism to work in a sound and fast way because the vacancies in the state administrations increased and we are keen on the work of these institutions and on filling the vacancies in the best and promptest way."
Question: Did you discuss the issue of a dialogue with the Syrian government about the displaced?
Abou Assi: The issue was not raised in this session.
Question: Can the mechanism be modified by reducing the deadlines?
Abou Assi: The Council of Ministers has the ability to make political decisions and has a broad political margin. It is the executive authority in the country and therefore all things are on the table and anything agreed on is respected by the council.
Question: Who is the group that opposed the mechanism?
Abou Assi: I cannot announce the deliberations that took place in the session, but I can say that all views were positive and aimed at filling the vacancies in the best way because there are many vacancies in the state institutions.
Question: Is the government going to get back the salary scale file from parliament to review it?
Abou Assi: The issue was not discussed during the meeting.
Question: Were there any differences of opinion?
Abou Assi: There were different views. The discussions were long because all issues were discussed seriously and openly. We listened to each other and the final decision on the issue was postponed till next week to reach the most suitable solution for the citizens.
Question: What is the importance of the renewable energy?
Abou Assi: I prefer that the Minister of Energy talks about the technical and practical sides of this issue, but in general the cabinet's decision, like all countries of the world, is to depend on renewable energy and not on classical energy alone, like on gas and fuel. Today, the item about wind energy was approved, and others were approved in principal, like solar power.
Question: Did you discuss the diplomatic appointments?
Abou Assi: We did not discuss the issue and I think that diplomats are not included in this mechanism.
Regarding economic attaches, Abou Assi said: "This is another issue that will be submitted to the legislative and consultations committee and a decision will be taken according to view of the committee."
Source: National News Agency