Key Speeches

Introduction > Inaugural speech – November 24, 1989

Inaugural speech – November 24, 1989
H. E. Mr. President and Respectable Members of the National Assembly,
Not so long ago, the National Assembly held a meeting to elect a president for the Republic capable of leading the country toward consensus and peace, and help regain the states’ sovereignty and national dignity. Today, this Assembly meets again in sadness, mourning the martyr of national unity and the loss of the captain of the ship that was tossed once again by waves of conspiracies
President René Mouawad was assassinated for his patriotism and consecrated believes in his country, as declared in his inaugural speech. President Mouawad was assassinated as he struggled to keep his promises to “perform his duties as a president for Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and not to be deterred by obstacles until he gets the Lebanese to shores of salvation.”  
René Mouawad was assassinated so the cedar flag is raised on top of every hill, to preserve the dignity and rights of every citizen, and restore the smiles on their faces, stability and prosperity to Lebanon.
Those who killed René Mouawad, were anxiously apprehensive of his faith and determination to reconcile the Lebanese factions and help Lebanon regain its total sovereignty. They betrayed and killed him, convinced they would bury with him, his objectives and intentions, those of every loyal Lebanese.
However, the National Assembly took a patriotic stance and refused to allow his martyrdom to be in vain. They forgot that we have a courageous National Assembly that stood up to conspirators, who also wanted to assassinate the whole country. Your response proved to them that even if the Country’s President is killed, Lebanon will never die, the Lebanese will for life is stronger than their feeble methods, and the road to salvation will not be cut short.
Strengthened with these believes, the National Assembly convened immediately to counter the attack against a united Lebanon and rescue the path to salvation. It paid tribute to late President Mouawad, promising to carry on with his flame; and in an ultimate response to his assassins immediately elected a new president who will raise the fallen banner and continue on the same struggling path to salvation for this country.
Dear Sirs,
You have laid your choice on my person to raise again this banner and hold presidential responsibilities;
I do present my gratitude and thankfulness for your esteemed trust.
And to all Lebanese, I promise to adopt President Mouawad’s main believes and accomplish the objectives and principles he set and died for, so that his soul may rest in peace when his beloved country recovers its unity and self-governance.
Dear Sirs,
The situation is dire. Lebanon is threatened more than ever with great dangers. Lebanese citizen are worried about their future. They have a very slight sense of hope for salvation but it fades away into disappointment. Nonetheless, they do know that since the civil war outburst, they did not have an opportunity for peace and unity as valid as the one offered today through the Document of National Accord, decreed by your National Assembly and firmly supported by the International Community.

The Document of National Accord is a complete integrated project that will be leading us to salvation; putting an end to civilian sufferings from ongoing civil strife. Lebanese citizens simply have these choices: accept this document, abide by it, and benefit from the guarantees it holds, and the support from the International Community, or fail it destroying the final ray of hope, keeping the country vulnerable to conspiracy targeting its unity and the people of this nation.
The Lebanese are to choose between Lebanon’s’ unity, people and state institutions, or its division and factionalism which will ultimately lead to its destruction. In their name, we choose unity!
Between building a just and democratic society, and the persistence of killing, spreading of hatred, racism and ethnical disputes;
In their names, we decide to put an end to destruction and start rebuilding!
Between a democratic state based on the will of the people, and dictatorship where ethics, freedom and the rights of citizens are inexistent;
In their names, we choose a free democratic regime!
Between a state of modern institutions, with predefined powers and responsibilities, where every citizen is to be held accountable regardless of his or her powers, and a chaotic state where responsibilities are not defined, where there is no accountability and sentence and where corruption hinders consecrated national beliefs, rights of citizens and public money;
In their names, we choose the state of institutions!
Between a state based on healthy ethics, morals and competencies, and a state based on favoritism and bigotry that lacks moral principles;
In their names we choose the state of principles!
Between a state where justice and egalitarianism are pillars of the society, and a state that discriminates;
In their names we choose the state of justice!
Between a country divided into mini-states based on sectarianism, and a strong state promoting patriotism against sectarianism while respecting the rights, existence and freedom of religions;
In their names we choose a centralized state that gathers different religious communities under national unity.
Between total chaos, rule of no-law, unsecured life and hopeless future; and a state that spreads its authority on all the Lebanese territories through strengthening military and security forces, disarming of militias and protecting citizens’ rights;
In their names we choose the rule of law!     
Between a country where citizens are scattered as emigrants or immigrants abroad; and a country that solves the issue of its displaced and migrated citizens so that each one of them recuperates his house and land and lives in peace, dignity and security.
In their name we choose to solve the problem of the displaced and immigrants.
Between having part of the country’s territory under yoke of Israeli occupation, and liberating the land through the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 425 and the reinforcement of the Lebanese army;
In their names we choose to restore our sovereignty, free our land and unite our people!
Between a state weak, unable to extend its authority and law over its national territory, and building our legitimate force in order to restore the rule of law without foreign military assistance.
In their names we choose a powerful state, able of extending its authority over its territory with the sole presence of reinstated Lebanese military armed forces.  
Between the conceal of our heritage behind cultural interaction with our surrounding, and our habits of openness with other cultures and civilizations, living isolated, haunted by fear and illusions; and the interaction with our Arab family, supporting its critical affairs and charters;
In their names we choose to strengthen our Arab identity which fits our history and national ambitions, as the Tripartite Arab Committee manifested laudable efforts, on behalf of the Arab world, to support our country and has offered guarantees to secure the implementation of the National Accord Document, namely in regaining sovereignty and rebuilding Lebanon.
And finally, keeping the misunderstanding between Lebanon and Syria, considering the damage this misunderstanding has been causing both countries, and turning this page once and for all into a new chapter of trustful brotherly relations that preserve the interests of both countries and their people, as two independent and sovereign countries.
In the names of Lebanese citizens, we choose to adopt the latter, as Syria has approved the National Accord Document that stipulates Lebanon is a sovereign and independent state, and is a final country for the entire Lebanese population. This approval has allowed many to overcome their doubts and worries of Syria.
Dear Sirs,
These choices I mentioned and committed myself to, which are stipulated in the Document of National Accord and have been ratified by your respectable Assembly, will constitute the ministerial statement of the new Government of National Unity to be formed very soon.
These choices will help us win the battle to save Lebanon and its citizens. Their unity and will to salvation are the utmost guarantees that will insure the success of this plan.
Based on these principles, I extend my hand to all Lebanese, especially those of leaderships, and to new generations that such events deprived the grace of a normal decent life. In these generations is the hope for a new Lebanon, sovereign independent and free, let us help them play their role in the reconstruction and the evolution of their country.
From this point, I invite you to be rational rather than adventurous, to be realistic rather than raising false speech banners that turn dreams into nightmares and hope into tears. I invite you to live with dignity than to be committed to a cheap needless collective suicide.
Dear Sirs,
The day we approved the Document of National Accord in Taef, when the whole world decided to support us, was the day when the peace process started in Lebanon and with it began the quest for regaining our national dignity and sovereignty.
Our Enemies will try to undermine this quest, but their efforts will go in vain because the will of life engraved in the hearts of each Lebanese is stronger than death and hatred, and because the Lebanese have had enough of their share of fighting, killing, deportation, and sacrifices that led to nowhere. They are convinced today that their salvation is in their hands. The Document of National Accord is the way to restore national immunity and start a country that is capable and sovereign, in pursuance to national standards and human values.
I call upon all my fellow citizens to join this march toward salvation, end violence and fighting, restore to the military armed forces its main and primary role of protecting the nation, its regime and citizens and giving them their rights to a decent life. The military will thus prove itself as a national institution based on the principles of honor, sacrifice and loyalty to legitimacy, for the sake of a united Lebanon.
I extend my hand in sincere dedication and trust to all my fellow citizens for a loyal and genuine partnership that will save the country, I hope reluctant hands will stretch out and join our march for salvation. The journey is ongoing no matter how hard and difficult conditions can be. We shall leave no stone unturned and nothing will be able to prevent us from reaching our objectives, as the interest of Lebanon, the country and the people, is above all.
We are about to rebuild a strong and just state, and regain our total sovereignty, there will be no place for compromises or hesitations.
Accepting the responsibilities of the Presidency, at this time of crisis, is but an evidence of my full conviction that we have made the right and correct choices, and the firm intentions of this Presidency to stop at nothing for the benefit of Lebanon. May God help me!

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