FRI 23 - 3 - 2018
Date: Dec 22, 2017
Source: The Daily Star
Lebanon witnessing 'a huge political agreement': Hariri
BEIRUT: Lebanese will soon witness developments in a range of sectors due to a prevailing political agreement in the country, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Wednesday night.

This agreement will be reflected in different areas where the government is working on improving power supply, infrastructure, waste and traffic management, Hariri told a gathering of Beiruti social organizations and notables.

"In everything I do, I look at the interest of the country and the Lebanese first. There might have been many who didn't understand the [reasons] behind the settlements that I made during the previous stage,” Hariri added, referring to the agreement that led to the election of Michel Aoun as president while Hariri returned to the office of prime minister. “But when I made them, I was seeing the country as it was collapsing in front of everyone's eyes."

During the past year, Hariri has been criticized on claims that he was providing Hezbollah - a major ally of Aoun - with leeway in the government.

Hariri had brushed off these comments on several occasions, saying that his aim was to protect Lebanon.

"We have a huge dispute over regional issues with some of the political parties in the country like Hezbollah, but this doesn't mean you can't hold dialogue [with them] for the country's best interests, or to provide electricity and water. We have been used to being under the custodianship [of another country]," Hariri said, referring to Syria's domination of Lebanon for nearly decades that ended in 2005.

"We've tried everything after the tutelage. We tried to rule by ourselves and we tried allowing them [March 8] to rule by themselves. Neither this nor that worked out," he said.

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