The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri received today at the Grand Serail a delegation from the board of directors of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, headed by Joseph Torbey. They discussed the financial and banking situation.
After the meeting, Torbey said: "We visited Prime Minister as board of directors of the Association of Banks in Lebanon to congratulate him on the formation of the government. We discussed all the issues that the government will address in the near future, including the financial file, the reforms and the budget. Premier Hariri expressed his optimism about these issues. We share his optimism if all the plans that need consensus are respected. It seems that there is an agreement on all key issue so far.
The Prime Minister promised us that there will be no new taxes on the institutions or the citizens. What is needed now is the revival of the economy, especially through the CEDRE program, which includes many requirements that can help this revival."
He added: "On the banking level, Prime Minister Hariri assured us that the situation is well controlled by the banks and the Central Bank and that the sector has managed to survive during the past nine months that have been difficult for Lebanon and its economy, due to the cohesion and strength of this sector and to the Lebanese banking system and the rules it applies as well as Lebanon's respect of its commitments that represent a basis for its successes now and in the future. We will have other meetings with the Prime Minister to follow up the implementation of the economic plan. Premier Hariri expressed the highest level of optimism and we are optimistic after hearing him."
Hariri also received the Ambassador of India to Lebanon Sanjiv Arora in a farewell visit.
He met with the Yemeni Ambassador to Lebanon Abdullah Abdulkarim Al-Deis, who conveyed the congratulations of the Yemeni president and government on the formation of the Lebanese government.
Hariri later met with the Minister of Defense Elias Abu Saab, in the presence of former Minister Ghattas Khoury.
After the meeting, Abu Saab said: "I discussed with Premier Hariri issues related to the Ministry of Defense, the appointment of the military council and the visits I made to Washington and Munich."
In response to a question about the stances he announced during these two visits, Abu Saab said: "All the stances I took are under the ceiling of the ministerial statement and the charter of the Arab League, and the proof is that I received the support of the Arab League Secretary General and the UN Special Envoy to Syria who asserted the same thing. What I said is not a point of disagreement and it is inaccurate to say that some parties objected to it because we did not hear an official stance from anyone, just sources quoted by some media."
He added: "All these stances come within the framework of defending an Arab land and not a disagreement between two parties. A similar incident happened in Iraq when Turkey interfered in Northern Iraq and at the time the Arab League issue a stance supporting Iraq's territorial integrity. We work under the ceiling of the Arab League decisions and I am surprised that anyone could be upset that I work under the ceiling of the Arab League. I will always defend any Arab land and I ask about the loyalty of those who get upset because I defend an Arab land."
Source: National News Agency