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Aoun: National Unity Protected Lebanon against Terrorism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese President Michel Aoun meets a delegation from the diaspora at the presidential palace in Baabda on August 8. (Dalati & Nohra)

Beirut – Lebanese President Michel Aoun stressed on Monday that the country’s national unity was bolstered recently, which helped it overcome challenges.

He remarked: “National unity protected Lebanon and allowed it to confront terrorism with a national will.”

The president made his statements while welcoming at the presidential palace in Baabda a delegation from the Lebanese diaspora in the United States, Canada, Europe, Arab Gulf, Africa, South America and Iraq. The meeting was attended by Lebanese Ambassador to Washington Gaby Issa.

Aoun continued: “Lebanon is a small country geographically, but it covers the whole world through its diaspora …. which is a source of strength for the country.”

“This makes Lebanon a universal country that brings together east and west and yet leaves it constantly exposed to problems,” he added.

He underlined however the need for Lebanese expatriates throughout the world to preserve their contacts with their homeland.

Aoun said: “We have managed to protect Lebanon from regional problems and impose stability and security throughout its territories.”

On terrorism, he noted: “We succeeded in combating terror that is targeting different parts of the world, including Lebanon, which at one point was not prepared enough to face it.”

He credited national unity with bolstering Lebanon’s ability to counter terrorism. This unity was strengthened after last year’s presidential elections and formation of a government and the approval earlier this year of a new parliamentary electoral law.

The president noted however that Lebanon is still facing economic problems, challenges from regional wars and the burden of the heavy flow of Syrian refugees, as well as the presence of Palestinian refugees.