As promised and planned by Minister Hassan, the elimination of security concrete blocks continues with now those around the ESCWA building in downtown Beirut, which has freed up traffic, eight years after they were installed due to a series of attacks on the United Nations.
In this regard, Minister of Interior and Municipalities Raya Al-Hassan and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti held a joint press conference in which they announced the opening of the road linking downtown Beirut to Salim Salam Street.
In her words, Mrs. Rola Dashti explained that "the roads were closed under certain security conditions that Lebanon was going through." She reassured that the conditions have changed and the security situation has stabilized, adding, "We would like to tell the international community and foreign investors that Lebanon is stable and secure."
"We are pleased to announce the completion of the first phase of the work and the opening of the west road of the ESCWA building on Friday," she asserted. "Work is underway to complete the project and the entire road is expected to be opened before the end of the year."
From her side, Minister Hassan declared, "When I took up my duties at the Ministry of Interior, I took some small steps to improve the lives of the citizens and facilitate their affairs. I started from the Ministry of Interior, as the first step was to remove the cement blocks around the ministry because I consider that what affects others can affect me, and I have continued doing so in other areas."
Speaking about the steps she took to ensure the removal of these blocks around the ESCWA, Minister Hassan explained that she had contacted Mrs. Dashti with her wish, explaining to her the positive impact that will result from that action, and that Mrs. Dashti "was fully responsive and cooperative."
Minister Hassan assured that the remaining will be done and the road from Salim Salem bridge towards the downtown will be all opened within a month. She expressed her hope that this simple step will grant some satisfaction to the citizens.
After her appointment late January of this year, Lebanese Interior Minister Raya Hassan took to twitter announcing one of her promises, which is to remove all cement blocks from congested areas in all Lebanese territory. Since then the removal of these blocks is ongoing with the actions being implemented as planned.
Days after the formation of the Lebanese new government, the Interior Minister ordered the removal of the concrete security barriers around her ministry in Beirut, in the Sanayeh's neighborhood, which were causing traffic congestion since 2014.
Earlier in June, and with always the aim to ease the traffic condition in many congested areas in Lebanon, the cement blocks surrounding the Higher Islamic Shiite Council on the old airport road were removed.
Security concrete blocks were similarly dismantled from outside the residence of Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut's Ain Tineh area, reopening a key road and facilitating the flow of traffic towards the area of Ramlet El-Bayda.
In more recent days, several concrete blocks protecting the houses of some politicians and the offices of some political parties were also uninstalled in several areas of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.