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Friday,30 September, 2016
The Presidency of the Republic adopts new seal, a first since Independence    
Inaugural Address Of the President of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel Sleiman

Mr. Speaker, esteemed members of the parliament,

I would have been extremely delighted to begin this mandate with moments of joy; nevertheless, I am confident that our silence will be praised by the souls of our martyrs who are close to God Almighty, since this mandate will be laying the foundations for a new promising phase, for the citizens of our beloved country which is rising from this stumble, thanks to the Lebanese people’s awareness, their refusal to fall the victims of fratricide, and the efforts our loyal friends and brethren have undertaken to mitigate the effects of these unfortunate events and to eliminate their consequences.

Today, by taking the oath, I am calling upon you all, political parties and citizens, to start a new phase which title is Lebanon and the Lebanese people, where we commit ourselves to a national project agreed upon with a futuristic mentality in order to serve the interests of our homeland and prioritize them over our sectarian and confessional interests, and over all the others’ interests.

The desired political stability makes incumbent upon us to activate the role of the constitutional institutions where the political ideas and dissimilarities will be dealt with, in order to reach common denominators which secure the interests of the homeland and the people.

The political disagreement and the resulting constitutional problematic we have encountered should motivate us, not only to find the solutions to the problems that we might face in the future, but also to achieve the proper balance required between the competences and responsibilities in a way to enable the institutions and the Presidency of the Republic included to assume the role they are entrusted with.

Lebanon, the country of mission, crossroad of civilizations and haven of pluralism, prompts us all to endeavor and engage ourselves in political, administrative, economic and security reforms. This will enable us to restore our country’s exemplary role on the international scene.
Lebanon has chosen to conform to the “Taef” agreement, and it is called to safeguard and consolidate this choice because it stems from a united national will, which is imperative to immunize any political decision.

Furthermore, it is the national pact which is analogous to the constitution that joins the Lebanese together based on their own will. It proved to be stronger and far more sublime than any other external will.

Our external relations will be most effective and adequate if they were based on this pact, and thus the interests of Lebanon will be safeguarded and its particularity will be respected; this will enable our country to regain its effective role in the Arab world and the International Community as the living example of the coexistence between the cultures.

Esteemed members of the parliament,

The people have placed their confidence in us to accomplish their ambitions, and not to confuse them with our political differences.

Probably the most dangerous threat which rose in the last years manifested itself in a political speech based on a treason language and mutual accusations, which paved the way to a state of divergence and discord especially among youth. This is the reason why it is essential to realize this fact, to work on fortifying our country and our coexistence through dialogue and to avoid transforming the country into an open arena for conflicts.

The main characteristic of democracy resides in the rotation of power through free elections. It is certainly essential to adopt an electoral law which ensures the sound representation, consolidates the relation between the citizens and their representatives, and guarantees the mirroring of the choices and ambitions of the people, however, it is also important to accept the results of these elections and to respect the popular will.

Furthermore, the independence of the judicial authority consolidates justice which constitutes a safe haven to all people whose rights are violated, and secures a public order to all the public utilities. Hence, the effects of this independence will not be restricted to judgments rendering, since justice is safe hands, it is the pillar of all powers.

Moreover, national responsibility imposes upon us to encourage the youth generation capacities to accede to the public sector institutions in a way to prevent its decline and enables us to establish a younger and more competent administration. This responsibility also makes it inevitable to rely on the good choices and decisions, to consolidate the surveillance organisms and thus to reward the meritorious, set right the negligent, and remove the corrupted from office.

Gentlemen,

We will achieve the objective of dissipating the suspicions of the youth by building a country they will be proud to belong to; a country to rise by their capacities, expertise and participation in finding the solutions. Let us all allow them to guide us where we have failed, on the grounds that the youth generation resisted the occupation and terrorism and fought for the independence. The youth generation is our promising future, the wounds thickened them but made them stronger and some of them became handicapped and thus their rights should be guaranteed according to the laws and regulations.

It is noteworthy to bear in mind the importance of a reformative educational policy in our schools and universities, a policy which will restore their significant role in this region.

The Lebanese communities in the Diaspora are looking up and hoping to see their homeland rising from underneath the ashes once more and therefore we should acknowledge the rights of the Lebanese immigrants and proceed with the measures which will reinforce their adhesion and interaction with Lebanon. We should also resort to their capacities and engage them in a way that will make them feel as actual citizens and far more worthy of the Lebanese nationality than those who acquired it illegitimately.

Emerging from the state of recession and activating the economic cycle necessitate political and security stability as well as the patronage of the State to encourage the competitive production process. Thereupon, the plans of attracting investments and securing a friendly environment can fight against unemployment and immigration.

This fact also leads to the necessity of attaching great importance to our productive economy in the industrial, agricultural, and services fields and the importance of spreading the environmental culture and emphasizing on this country’s aspects of tourism.

The balanced development is an essential pillar of the country’s unity and the regime’s stability; we consider that the implementation of the wide administrative decentralization constitutes an important factor for this development to achieve the required reform in the field of social, economic and cultural disparity between the Lebanese regions. Furthermore, it is imperative to attach a great importance to the return of the displaced in a way to close this file permanently.

Gentlemen,

Our abidance by the charters of the United Nations and our observance of its resolutions are due to our firm conviction in the International legitimacy based on the principles of justice and right. Consequently, we would like to confirm our participation in the establishment of the International tribunal with regard to the assassination of the martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and his companions, as well as the assassinations which followed in order to bring justice.

The evolution of the Resistance was a need during the impotence of the state and the persistence of this Resistance was achieved by virtue of the support granted by the Lebanese people, the State, and the Lebanese Army.

The success of the Resistance in the mission of vanquishing the israeli occupier springs from the courage and greatness of its martyrs and yet, the farms of “Shebaa” which are still occupied and the enemy’s persistence in threatening to violate our sovereignty impose upon us to elaborate a defensive strategy that will safeguard the country concomitantly with a calm dialogue to benefit from the capacities of the resistance in order to better serve this strategy. Accordingly, we will manage to avoid depreciating the achievements of the resistance in internal conflicts and subsequently we will safeguard its values and national position. This day coincides with the National Day of liberation and victory and therefore I hope that this occasion prompts us to be more and more conscious of the dangers that are threatening us and to renew our adherence to freedom and democracy to which we have suffered and sacrificed in order to ensure and safeguard our homeland.

In this context we should dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to the mission of freeing the prisoners and the detainees as well as revealing the destiny of the missing persons in addition to recovering our sons who sought refuge in Israel, for the homeland embraces all of its sons.

Lebanon has and will always persist in strengthening the relations with the Arab brethren and thus we are looking forward to achieve a relation of fraternity between Lebanon and Syria in the framework of mutual respect to the sovereignty and the border of both states, and diplomatic relations which will serve the interests of the two countries.
What is most important in this concern resides in the perfect implementation of the equal relations which will be lacking all past flaws, and accordingly we will benefit from the past experiences to avoid any upcoming problems and to ensure the interests, the prosperity and the security of the two brother countries.

Fellow compatriots,

The State can not disregard any security violation and shall never allow in any case using a certain party as a source to reinforce terrorism or to advance the Palestinian cause as a pretense to purchase weapons, the thing that might destabilize the country. This type of incidents occurred last year when the Lebanese Army was attacked.

Let us work all together to deal with the repercussions of these incidents by remedying the wounds and reconstructing what has been destroyed. Pains are overwhelming but let us cling to hope. The weapons should always be pointed at the enemy and we will not allow any side to point them elsewhere.  Our firm rejection of the settlement does not mean that we object to host our brother Palestinians and to take care of their humanitarian rights, this rejection stems from our will to preserve the right of their return to their homeland until the establishment of the viable Palestinian State and that is why Lebanon insists on the content of the Arab initiative which was launched from its Capital Beirut in the year 2002.

The Armed Forces, and especially the Lebanese Army, have gained the confidence of the Lebanese people during the last years in consequence of achieving great and historic accomplishments starting with the protection of democracy and civil peace and the deployment of the Lebanese Army units in the South after an absence of more than three decades, in addition to confronting the enemy and the terrorist threat, and have subsequently offered many brave men on the altar of the homeland.

Moreover, the recent security incidents gave the impression that the Armed Forces did not assume the complete and required role. In this regard, it is noteworthy that the issue of ensuring the minimum level of agreement and securing the required political cover contribute to ward off such incidents in the future. In addition to this, it is essential to reinforce the morale of the Armed Forces on the national level, to equip these troops and to encourage the educated and promising youth to join the Army.

Gentlemen,

On this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to the league of Arab Nations and its Secretary General for embracing the crisis which devastated the country and for undertaking productive efforts to elaborate the appropriate solution.

On behalf of the Lebanese people, I would also like to express the deepest feelings of gratitude to the State of Qatar, to His Highness the Prince, to the Prime Minister and to the Arab Ministerial Committee for their sincere efforts and their national commitment in launching and hosting the Lebanese National Dialogue which has succeeded by virtue of their initiative, and was crowned by the Doha agreement.

On this occasion, I would like to express my appreciation to the brother and friendly countries which helped Lebanon overcome the ordeals and to the States which are participating in the UNIFIL deployed in the South to implement resolution 1701, for their distinguished performance in complementarily with the Lebanese Army. We should also point out to the importance attached by this International Force to the development and social aspects in the areas of deployment and to the satisfaction of the citizens.

Fellow compatriots,

Much work lies ahead; my oath is a commitment I made, just as your will is also a commitment. Let us avoid drowning in promises, let us make an approach to reality and its various fields, within our capabilities, and let us enjoy the support of brothers and friends to overcome the difficulties. Let us be united in solidarity, let us walk along together towards a deep-rooted reconciliation in order to plant the seeds of hope in the hearts of our sons, to launch pioneering, creative and brave initiatives, to establish the foundation of the capable and civil State, based on the respect of public liberties, the freedom of expression and religion. Our national unity has cost us a lot, so let us preserve it together, hand in hand; God is with the community.

Long live Lebanon.