President Michel Aoun on Thursday pledged to “protect the interests of the State” and to “preserve the rights of the citizens.”
“Lebanon will rise again and there are signs of improvement. The State will be strong again and Lebanon will return to being the first economic, financial and ethical hub in the Levant,” Aoun told a delegation from the Higher Greek Orthodox Council.
He also promised to cater to “the needs of citizens in Beirut and the rest of the Lebanese cities and towns,” noting that he will meet the invitations that he received from several Arab countries “on the basis of mutual respect, not subordination.”
Aoun's election as Lebanon's 13th president after two and a half years of presidential void has raised hopes that Lebanon can begin tackling challenges including a stagnant economy, a moribund political class and the influx of more than a million Syrian refugees.