Key Speeches

Introduction > Signature of the Constitutional Reform – September 21, 1990

Meet Lebanon, in Lebanon.
Fellow Lebanese,
With the new reality at the internal scene and the regional changes in the Middle East, and at the time when few Lebanese were playing the game of war in order to keep us from fulfilling our duties, we remained committed to protecting Lebanon, all of Lebanon from becoming another card exchanged on another Yalta round table.
Between the paths of blood and destruction on one hand, and that of dialogue, awareness and responsibility on the other, I have chosen the path worthy of Lebanon’s cultural image.
Between Lebanon the united and strong state, and dividing it into mini-states, I have chosen a Lebanon that is recognized internationally, and is pioneer among its brother state in the world.
Between the lost identity, battles, the occupied lands in the southern part, on one hand, and Lebanon the sovereign, free and independent state, on the other hand, I have chosen for you a nation that makes you proud of its eastern history to enjoy its honorable future.
We will build a nation that will assemble all its children under one flag, a sovereign nation, independent and free; a nation that every citizen will be proud of, with a shining history and a promising future.
I believe in my country, I believe in its citizens who went through fifteen years of civil war and yet found a way to achieve peace, security, accord, life, freedom and dignity. For the past ten months of my presidency I have shared your pain and suffered to seeing some fall in the abyss of blood and suicide, but I kept walking on the same path of reason knowing that a country can only be built on methodology and not moods. A country can only be rebuilt on trust, honor and skills and not by defamation, confusion and lack of responsibility. This state that we are all building today is the state of the Lebanese people which maintained its unity and pride despite bloodshed and destruction. It walked the path to salvation, slowly but with fixed steps, promoting accord and agreement. It took democracy a framework to rebuild a healthy state, which recognizes the diversity of its people, an active society motivated toward achievements and ready to modernize itself. Lebanon shall rise on the basis of democracy, by pushing forward coexistence, freedom, security and progress so that we reach peaceful prosperity.
I congratulate you today for the constitutional effort that laid the principles of the Second Republic, based on the trust of the Lebanese in each other and on their trust in their country; where the citizens interact and integrate with each other and with the state. Thus, Lebanon will be a free nation, independent and sovereign where peace and security will reign. ‘One country for all its children in all their diversity.’
Fellow Lebanese,
This constitutional accomplishment will help us put many difficulties aside and start building a modern and responsible state. Those who have supported the July 11 peace initiative have done a great favor for the modern Lebanese state, and those who opposed it have become enemies to Lebanon.
We are about to form a national unity government where there will be a place for all. This government of national unity will put an end to the war, dissolve militias and spread state authority and the rule of law on all Lebanese territory. This government will help to put our economy back on track and set basis for our brotherly relationship with Syria, launching a new era of openness, trust and stability.
In the name of the Lebanese people I sign today the Reform Law so that together we can put an end to the state of war; so that we dissolve all the militias; so that we march toward re-establishing a state with all its ports and facilities; to help every displaced citizen return to his home and land, to his factory, his shop, his field; a path that will take the student back to his school or university and the displaced and immigrants who fled war, destruction and poverty to their homes. It is a road where we will forgive and forget our past hatred and grudges. We will walk together, hand in hand, to rebuild and push forward development, in order to achieve peace and stability and found the future of Lebanon.
I would like to thank the Lebanese Parliament for all its efforts and sacrifices. It is true that this parliament is 18 years old, but today it is with a lot of maturity that this parliament has but accepted to present the new generation a country free of war and its residue; thus, opening a new chapter in the Lebanese history, a promising start for the skilled youth to perform their roles and achieve their ideas, dreams and ambitions.
I hope that we will be able to hold new elections shortly. For those who are asking for new elections right now, I tell them that people have left this country massively, fleeing from war and from those who killed them and kidnapped, intimidated them and destroyed their houses and businesses, to search for security and stability wherever it was presented.
 I would also like to thank the government which cooperated with me during this difficult period. I would like to express my gratitude for the ministers who helped with the reorganization of the institutions and official services despite the many challenges, slander and violations. It is true that during the last months it clearly was not a period of great administrative achievements as much as it was a great period for heroism to minimize destruction and avoid another round of violence in which the unified state will suffer or even collapse.
It is also very important to recognize the efforts of our brothers in the armed forces.
Soldiers,
I addressed you on the first of August, on Army Day,
Today, I reiterate that your legitimacy is bestowed on every citizen, home and soldier.
We thank you on the exemplary role you are playing in protecting the unity of Lebanon. I also ask you to stay alert as we will be facing more challenges in the future and you will be asked to behave exemplarily. Each and every one of you must protect and respect each and every citizen. You are responsible for the safety of our people and at no point you will be a threat to their freedom for whatever reason.
I call upon you to choose one of the following three choices;
-The army stays divided and unorganized between regular and rogue battalions which will lead to more crises at all levels social and economic and will jeopardize the destiny of the country. Have you sworn allegiance to the Lebanese flag or to rebel against the legitimacy?
-The army units fight each other, and who wants to see those who have vowed to protect the institution of sacrifices, discipline and morality, dishonored? Don’t you already know that violence leads to tragedies I am working hard to prevent? Do not let the victory of the official authority come at the expense of the lives of officers and soldiers who were called to serve Lebanon initially.
- Or you can all work together to form a unified army, brothers in arms under one flag, one leadership, serving a united nation and all the Lebanese people. The army institution will be once again a great symbol of unity and you will prove that Lebanon deserves to be saved and live.
I urge you to unite or else I will have to take a decision that I’ve been working hard to delay.
I refuse to witness the annihilation of Lebanon.
I will save Lebanon and its unity.
The road to building a powerful state will not close, and will not wait.
I promise you that your trust in the country will not be betrayed.
Remember your pledges toward you country and prove that you are for Lebanon.
I look forward for the day when our national army will unite in peace under the flag of the Lebanese Republic.
Fellow Lebanese,
I am aware of the economic difficulties and the seriousness of the situation. We are about to exit a period of crisis that has been going on for fifteen years now and the wars of the past two years have been more dreadful than many others. Many of our intellectual, skilled and potential citizens have fled the country. Many Lebanese have simply lost faith in their country after these suicidal wars and amidst a (first) Gulf War  that shook the economy of the region and the world.
Nonetheless, I still think that with a good administration and a responsible and clever economic strategy, we will be able to get out of this crisis with the support of friends of Lebanon among the international community who are ready to help us financially. But let us be clear, neither the international funds, nor the state subsidies will save Lebanon from its economic crisis. It is only by ending the war, the return to peace, and the confidence in Lebanon that a stable if not prosperous economy may be re-established.
It is by agreeing and uniting with the state that we will help our economy regain its strength. Corruption and monopoly only aggravate the economic and social failure.
Our wealth was never from mines of gold or oil fields; our wealth has always been the ingenuity of our people, our motivation ambitions and confidence in the state.
Fellow Lebanese,
Wherever you are right now, whether in Lebanon or abroad, I urge you to adopt Lebanon so that Lebanon adopts you back.
My fellow Lebanese, people of fortunes, people of skills and experience, I urge you to trust this country so we can build a modern nation together.
The day to meet Lebanon, in Lebanon, has come.

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