A Statement by Prime Minister Rafic Hariri   (Monday, October 23, 2000)


His Excellency President Emile Lahoud conveyed to me the results of the parliamentary consultations he conducted according to the Constitution and designated me to form the government according to these results. I am grateful to his Excellency and to my colleagues, the deputies, for the valued confidence with which they have entrusted me. I also pray to God for success and for us all to be able to realize the peopleís expectations and hopes.

The challenges are considerable and are not limited to one aspect of our national life. They are multifaceted and are manifest on the economic and social levels, as well as on the political scene both domestically and regionally. These challenges require the highest levels of national solidarity and cooperation to face up to their impact at all levels.

Consequently, I will start immediately, in cooperation with his Excellency the President, conducting consultations with the deputies and the political forces and leaders to form a government team that can deal with the current situation and face its challenges.

Today we take the first step on a long road of national action that requires relentless efforts to tackle economic and social challenges, activate development and production, continue the process of construction, and renew confidence in the democratic system and the requirements of national accord. It requires similar efforts to face regional developments and the deadlock reached in the peace process in the region as a result of Israelís unreasonable stances and declared war against the Palestinian people.

I do not deny that I feel the burden of responsibility from this moment, but I do not think that any Lebanese is any less determined than me to face the challenges no matter how hard they may be. I will continue to count on the Lebanese people and their courage in facing crises, on cooperation with his Excellency the President and with the parliament that has given me its confidence, and on the democratic system that we consider the basic source of our political societyís strength.

We are on the eve of a new period during which we look forward to working together with the spirit of national accord to complete the liberation of our land from Israelís occupation.

We are on the eve of a new period during which we call for action with the spirit of Lebanonís youth and for preparing for the challenges of the future.

We are on the eve of a new period during which we urge all Lebanese to show more solidarity to renew confidence in our country, the state and its institutions.

The challenges awaiting us are big, but it is essential that we face them so that we can live up to the expectations of the people and help them overcome their own challenges.              

                                                                        In arabic