Sleiman tackles general affairs with political, diplomatic figures

Former President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, on Wednesday received in audience Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Samir Mokbel, who said he had discussed with his host several important affairs.

In response to a question about the possible extension of the term of the Army commander, the minister said he personally assumed the constitutional and legal responsibility of such an approach.

“As a minister of defense, my duty is to propose three candidates for the post in question. The Cabinet must decided on one of the three nominees, with the approval of two thirds of ministers,” he said, wondering about the solution to be adopted in case this procedure failed.

“Should we then leave the army without a commander?” he asked.

“I will not tolerate this,” he said, noting that, for the best interest of the military institution, he shall extend for one year the mandate of General Qahwaji.

Regarding the appointment of Chief of Staff of the Army, Minister Mokbel explained that such action was illegal.

Later on, Sleiman met the ambassador of the United States, Elizabeth Richard, with whom he discussed international and diplomatic affairs.

The former president also met with the Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Zayed Badreddine. Sleiman expressed satisfaction over “international efforts to support Lebanon and its army, despite the presidential vacuum that affects all institutions; a fact that has affected Lebanon’s reputation abroad.”

On a different note, the former President received the Minister of Health, Wael Abou Faour, who handed him an invitation from MP Walid Jumblatt to take part in a planned meeting next Saturday at Moukhtara to inaugurate the town’s Church after its restoration.

Sleiman also met with Minister of the Displaced, Alice Shabtini, who raised the issue of Lassa village located in the caza of Jbeil and the conflict on real estate in the village. She called on Hezbollah allies to put pressure on Hezbollah to settle the case.

Sleiman has finally met with Minister of Youth and Sports, Abdul Motaleb Hinnawi.

Source: National News Agency