Key Speeches

Introduction > First Parliamentary Session of the New Year – January 5, 1993

The Taef accord has saved the stat entity, we must lead the future

Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellency the Members of the Parliament,
At the start of the New Year to which we look forward with faith and hope, I come before you to address the advancement of the establishment of stability, completion of liberation and launching of reconstruction.
With the start of the special session, I come before you so we can meet as one family united by what is deeper than mere formalities, it is the united Lebanese will embodied in the people’s desire to proceed in the process of rebuilding and peace, and the extensive cooperation among institutions to serve the homeland and its citizens.
I have worked in Parliament for nearly twenty years.  While there, I conveyed the people’s hopes and dreams and the faith of Bekaa residents, which were disregarded sometimes. I was also careful to speak on behalf of all of Lebanon at all times.
Because Lebanon and democracy are synonymous, I come today to assure you that there can be no life for Lebanon or any national accomplishment if not based on democracy and to emphasize the role of our mother institution, the Parliament.
We extend out thanks honor and thanks to the previous parliament for its help in moving the nation forward:
It remained committed to fulfilling its obligations and not to relinquish its duties in the midst of crippling dangers and circumstances and despite forced displacements and violence.
The Assembly established the road to peace.  It met in Taef, at the behest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the world’s gaze and amidst the concerns of our people in Beirut and elsewhere.  At that time we had two governments and our institutions and administrations were divided and stumbling, wars engulfed people and nations, despair was rampant, the nation’s institutions were paralyzed and destroyed, the problem of the displaced was spreading, Arab and international diplomatic departures were at their highest and employment and investment agencies were withdrawing their capital and programs.  Lebanon was almost given up for lost.  However, the previous parliament was up to the task and freely ratified the “National Accord Document.”
The previous parliament also adopted legislation even when chaos reigned.  Since 1972, the previous parliament has sacrificed dearly to protect national legitimacy and unity.  It has fulfilled its role rationally amidst death and fragmentation.
Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellency the Members of Parliament,
Above all, I congratulate you on the people’s trust in you.  My sincere hope is that you meet their expectations.  Nothing lightens the burden of trust like a job that is well done.
If some claim that you are not worthy of the people’s trust, then let your work confirm the people’s trust in your council and the State.
Your honorable council comes at a time when the path to reconciliation, security and revival of institutions has been launched and prior to the complete implementation of the provisions of the National Accord Document.  It is a historically significant phase beckoning us all.  Let us carefully consider all we have accomplished and look forward to finishing the remaining work.  It is plentiful and urgent.  I hope to give our future generations a homeland of brotherhood and prosperity and not the homeland of crises and tragedies I inherited. 
While in Parliament, I can only express my pride and love for the Lebanese people.  They are authentic in their nationalism, unity and commitment to the State.  They are also distinguished by their patience, steadfastness and ability to overcome and rise.  My people deserve Lebanon.
I also pay tribute to the leadership of Lebanon’s army for its solidarity and nationalism in the face of all wars.  With its structure and commitment, and despite its limited resources, the Army has embodied our people’s deep nationalism.  Lebanon has successfully defended its sovereignty and implemented the government’s decisions in the capital city and elsewhere.  It has fulfilled its obligations with sincerity and effectiveness thereby reviving trust in Lebanon’s ability to prosper and regain its right to liberation and independence.
On my behalf, on the behalf of this Parliament and of the Lebanese people, we affirm our commitment to supporting the army and all of our security forces that have succeeded in overcoming difficulties and fulfilling all obligations.
Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellency the Members of Parliament,
It is now clear to everyone that the State’s unity is a primary pillar to a successful shift from despair to hope and from crisis to solution.
It is also clear that the more we succeed the more our people are responsive and cooperative.  By having a united government, we have proven that only state weapons are legitimate and the people’s decisions solely are applicable. 
By having a united government, we have proven that Lebanon is now a nation.  It is no longer a land in disarray, a battlefield to resolve the crises of others, and an arena for violence, terrorism and lawlessness.
We are currently working to fully rebuild the State institutions in all sectors and at all levels so as to stabilize its role internally and abroad.
Lebanon unites all of the Lebanese people under the state’s wings; that is how we operate and will continue to operate regardless of the sacrifices.
The State is founded on the people’s security and assets and we will not compromise with those who are willing to jeopardize security and stability and corrupt the administration or the country.
Security goes beyond military procedures; it also lies in protecting citizens’ lives, dignity and rights as well as preventing waste in State assets.
The State is entrusted with providing services to all areas and working with society to the best of their abilities in all sectors. Little from here and there will help us recover and regain prosperity.
Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellency the Members of Parliament,
Our main task is to liberate our occupied land in the South and Western Bekaa.  It is a holy issue for which we are all responsible.
There can be no peace in Lebanon without regaining the South and Western Bekaa.  There can be no peace in the region before Resolution 425 is implemented.  Can we be blamed for holding on to our rights?  Should we remain silent to the infringement of our sovereignty, people and property and to making our land a home for the uninvited without asking Lebanon’s permission?
Creating a new cause will not distract us from the primary cause that is Israel’s withdrawal from our land in pursuance to International Resolution 425. Lebanon will not compromise on protecting its entity and accord. We will not accept that Lebanon be a scapegoat to target peace and our brethren’s legitimate rights.
The party behind the problem must solve it.  It is not Lebanon’s responsibility to solve the troubles induced by others.  Assaults do not hasten peace.  Peace is a concept that must be respected by those seeking it.  The State has proven that it is capable of asserting its authority on its land.  The international community should prove its friendship by implementing the United Nation resolutions and protecting the rights of its member states.
Helping Lebanon regain its right in the South and Western Bekaa is a trial to the international community at the dawn of a new era.  It also examines the extent to which the international community is founded on the principles of truth, justice and peace.
On behalf of all Lebanese people, we express our gratitude to all who have helped us on the path to salvation, reform and peace; namely, our brother state Syria.  Indeed, President Hafiz Al Assad and his administration have sacrificed dearly to support the Lebanese nation on the path to establishing its authority over all its territories.
Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellency the Members of Parliament,
If the previous parliament was the parliament that ratified peace, then my commitment to your parliament is that it shall be a parliament for building the Lebanon of peace.
The challenge that awaits you and defines the importance of your role is whether you are a parliament elected after sixteen years of wars, or a parliament elected three years after launching the road to peace?
Lebanon’s unity is the challenge, the path and the goal. In unity, you will be able to save the nation.
Sovereignty is not merely protected by preventing outsiders from attacking our national authority.  Sovereignty grows from our strength against internal power struggles.
We brought peace to ease the people’s suffering.  Whoever hinders national peace for personal interests or for circumstantial or factional interests is increasing the people’s suffering.  Our worth is not our success within the nation but the extent to which we succeed while working for our homeland.
The State is not a tent to distribute benefits neither are its institutions factional structures.  Outlaws are not characterized as such for belonging to a particular faction or faith.  Criminals have no confessions and evil has no religion. 
Let’s nurture our citizens, end destructive struggles and focus on addressing the past and its failings.  We want to start an era of reconstruction.  We need to hasten the return of the displaced, initiate the dynamics of growth, create job opportunities, promote production and services and encourage immigrating skilled labor to return and participate in the process of rebuilding.
The more we participate in planning and implementing the work and adopting democracy, justice and modernism, the greater Lebanon will become.
These efforts will allow us to establish a path for reconstruction.  We should focus on the people and their hopes and needs.  That is how we should love Lebanon.  Today, the battle is not over freedom, among factions or within factions, the fight is between those who put the State first and those who put themselves first.  A citizen’s trust in his homeland is strengthened when leaders set themselves as examples for dutiful service.  The State did not quell rebellion because it hates the Eastern part of Lebanon, and it did not conduct its security campaign in the North, Bekaa and Jabel to offend those areas.
It did not spread the army in the Southern parts of Beirut because it is against the area, neither did it refuse to welcome the displaced by Israel on its territory that is occupied by Israel because it rejected their legitimate cause.
The united state did so for all of Lebanon, the rule of law, protection of its sovereignty, accord and independence, and to provide life and liberty for all, fix our country’s image and endorse the true image of Lebanon, the state, nation and the people.
Your Excellency the Speaker of Parliament,
Your Excellency the Members of Parliament,
It is my pleasure to express my gratitude to the government’s efforts and its commitment to bearing the burdens of this phase, and particularly Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who is working for with me to establish prosperity.  You are aware that your government has set up a series of priorities to organize its work and complete the implementation of the National Accord Document’s provisions.
We greatly appreciate the parliament effort to progress on this path.  I also would like to acknowledge the hard work of my friend Nabih Berri, the Speaker of Parliament, for his commitment to supporting the reconstruction, liberation and peace, establishing the rules for effective and progressive parliamentary work based on full participation in creating legislation and adopting laws in cooperation with all committees as well as implementing the internal system’s rules.
The Taef has saved our entity.  We must now guide our people to the future.  I come here to urge you to get ready to build the future.
To further enhance Parliament’s role in maintaining national unity, continued legitimacy and protection of democracy, I grant the Parliament the Lebanese Order of Merit (Grand Cordon).

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