The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri chaired today at the Grand Serail the second meeting of the ministerial committee in charge of drafting the ministerial statement.
The Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil, the Minister of Youth and Sports Mohammad Fneish, the Minister of Education Akram Chehayeb, the Minister of State for Presidency Affairs Salim Jreissati, the Minister of Public Works and Transportation Youssef Fenianos, the Minister of Information Jamal Jarrah, the Minister of State for Administrative Development Affairs May Chidiac, the Minister of Economy Mansour Bteich, the Minister of State for Displaced Affairs Saleh Gharib, the Minister of Labor Kamil Abou Sleiman, the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Fouad Fleifel and the Director General of the Presidency of the Republic Antoine Choucair attended.
After the meeting, Information Minister Jamal Jarrah said: The committee has finalized the draft of the ministerial statement, with all its articles, as Prime Minister Hariri had promised. The committee will hold a meeting at 2:00 pm tomorrow for a last reading, after completing the corrections. The final version will be quickly read tomorrow and we would have achieved the ministerial statement, after a consensus on it from all parties participating in the government.
Question: On what basis did the members agree on the articles related to the resistance and the Russian initiative?
Jarrah: Regarding the resistance, we will adopt the text of the previous ministerial statement. As for the Russian initiative, it is the only one available to us so far to deal with the issue of the Syrian displacement.
Question: Does the statement mention the Russian initiative?
Jarrah: I briefed you on the atmosphere in general. We talked about initiatives, and other initiatives may appear, The one available so far is the Russian initiative, and it is the one being dealt with now.
Question: Is there a paragraph about the safe and dignified return of the Syrian refugees?
Jarrah: Yes, this is a national and humanitarian commitment towards the refugees to return safely to Syria.
Question: Was the expression "voluntary return" mentioned?
Jarrah: No, we did not mention the word voluntary.
Question: Is Lebanon still disassociating itself from what is happening in Syria?
Jarrah: Of course, the issue of disassociation is essential. It preserves Lebanon from the regional dangers. The relationship with Syria is not decided by us. It is the League of Arab States that suspended Syria's membership. Therefore, the decision is not for Lebanon but for the League. As a state, we are committed to disassociating ourselves from the events in the region.
Question: This means that everything remained as it was in the previous statement. What was amended?
Jarrah: I briefed you on the atmosphere of the meeting in general. The Special Tribunal remained as it was in the previous statement, as well as the issue of disassociation, of the displaced and the Palestinian brothers. All parties in the committee dealt with all these basic and important issues in the country positively. There has also been agreement on the modifications related to economic and development sectors, and on how to approach them in the current government.
Question: Did the statement mention the McKinsey report?
Jarrah: Not literally, but it is a document that the government has and is dealing with positively.
Question: Were there any reservations?
Jarrah: There were some reservations, and there is a discussion about them that has to end tomorrow. It is minor and non-essential, and we hope that it will end tomorrow.
Question: Will the statement include an article linking the relationship with Syria to the decision of the Arab League?
Jarrah: No, but we belong to the Arab League, which suspended Syria's membership and we are committed to the League's decision.
Source: National News Agency