Lebanese Forces party leader, Samir Geagea, presided over a meeting in Maarab for the "Strong Republic" parliamentary bloc, attended by Vice President of the party, MP George Adwan, MPs: Strida Geagea, Eddy Abi Lamaa, Wehba Qatisha, Fadi Saad, Ziad Hawat, Shawki Daccache, Georges Oqais, Antoine Habshi, Imad Wakim, Cesar Maalouf and Joseph Isaac.
Attending the meeting are former deputies Antoine Zahra, Elie Kayrouz, Fadi Karam and Shant Gengnian, Secretary-General Dr. Chantal Sarkis and Head of Media and Communication, Charles Jabbour, in the absence of Deputy Prime Minister, Ghassan Hasbani, due to illness, and caretaker Minister of Information, Melhem Riachy, due to previous commitments at Beit Al-Wasat.
Also absent from the meeting were deputies: Pierre Bou Assi, Jean Talouzian and Anis Nassar, as well as former MPs Antoine Abou Khater and Joseph Al-Maalouf and that for personal reasons.
Following the meeting, the secretary of the bloc, former deputy Fadi Karam, said that "bloc leader Samir Geagea had briefed conferees on the ongoing negotiations to form the government and the existing contacts with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and other political forces."
In its statement, the bloc reiterated support for the efforts exerted by Prime Minister Hariri who is the first person involved in forming the government, stressing the need to differentiate between the urgency of forming the government the soonest possible so as to meet the economic, living, reform and political challenges, on the one hand, and some parties' attempt to hold the Premier-designate responsible for the delay and exert pressure on it by insinuating external complications, on the other hand.
"What is needed is that all political forces cooperate in order to speed up the formation instead of questioning and circulating negative vibes," the statement said.
The bloc maintained "adherence to the results of the parliamentary elections and the rejection of any attempt to circumvent the will of the people and their vote," rejecting "some parties' unyielding attempts to restrict the representation of the Lebanese forces within the government, contrary to the popular will."
The bloc also "regretted all that accompanied the decree of naturalization of errors both in form and in content," and wished it would be withdrawn soon.
"The bloc will continue to challenge the decree until the end," the statement read.
Conferees also called on the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister "to give the Ministries of Interior, Defense and Justice the necessary instructions to fully assume their responsibilities in the Baalbek-Hermel region by imposing security with an iron fist and holding all security and stability violators accountable, because the situation is no longer tolerable and the prestige of the state is at stake."
They also stressed "the need to make the file of displaced persons top priority for the upcoming government which is expected to put in place, immediately after its formation, a clear plan for the return of displaced persons to their country as soon as possible," upping calls to close all illegal crossings and to take the necessary measures on the legitimate crossings to stop the smuggling of fuel and agricultural crops between Syria and Lebanon, thus negatively affecting the Lebanese treasury and Lebanese farmers who suffer heavy losses.
Source: National News Agency