After a week of silence and on the 8th consecutive day of the anti-government protests happening in Lebanon, the Lebanese president addressed the Lebanese in a very short speech promising to respond to the street’s demands with great reforms, but on the other hand he stressed that the regime isn’t going anywhere, calling to stop blocking roads.
President Aoun initiated his speech by saying: “I’m speaking to you today, as always from the heart to the heart, wherever you are in the yards of the protests or in your homes.”
In his speech, he considered that the scene “that we are witnessing today confirms that the Lebanese people are live, capable of rising up, changing, and conveying their voice, stressing that the freedoms in Lebanon are still good.”
However, he added that “this scene should not have happened, and your cry should have been a cry of joy to fulfill your ambitions and dreams, not a cry of soreness.”
Aoun also stated that the Lebanese people are “creative, strong and successful people […] but “sectarianism and corruption have destroyed the country,” claiming that he has “taken Lebanon to a place of safety and stability […]”
He also urged for the passing of anti-corruption laws, saying: “Politicians must return embezzled funds. The corruption has no religion or sector […]. Let’s expose the corrupt and leave the matter in hands of the judiciary […].”
“It is possible that you no longer have trust in the ruling class, the parties, or most state officials […] but today, from my position and responsibility as a President of the Republic, I assure you that the reform paper that was adopted will be the first step to save Lebanon and its economy.”
The Lebanese president assured the Lebanese that their “cry will not be in vain, like all the cries that have filled the squares before, it restored the freedom, sovereignty, and independence of Lebanon.”
“Freedom of expression is a respected and reserved right for all, but also freedom of movement is a right of all citizens and must be respected and guaranteed,” he stated.
At the end of the speech, Aoun stated that he refuses to step down but he instead calls for dialogue as the solution. “Let’s initiate a constructive dialogue where practical measures are taken to reach the best results. Dialogue is the best way to the solution,” he stated.
He concluded by saying, “I assure the protesters and demonstrators that I am ready to meet your representatives, to listen to your concerns and specifically to your demands, and you in return also hear from us our fears of economic collapse and what we have to do together to achieve your goals without causing collapse and chaos […]. I’m waiting for you.”
In this regard, protesters were carefully listening to the president’s speech that was greeted negatively afterward, especially that most of the Lebanese people considered that it didn’t meet their expectations and it’s just words on paper. They are stating that it is false promises and that they don’t trust him, insisting that they will keep protesting and the country’s main roads will continue to be blocked.
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