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Michel Aoun: Aleppo’s Battle Changed the Balance of Power in Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese President Michel Aoun (Reuters)

Beirut – Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that Aleppo’s battle has changed the balance of power in the war-torn country, “constituting a new start for the dialogue and negotiation path in order to reach a political solution.”

In his first TV appearance to France and the Francophone world, through an interview with French TV news channel LCI at Baabda Palace on Sunday, Aoun presented his views on several internal and regional affairs.

On the Syrian refugee crisis, the president said: “Lebanon cannot receive displaced Syrians for an indefinite period in its territories, it hosted them for humanitarian reasons, and they should return to their country.”

Commenting on the latest developments in Syria, Aoun said that Aleppo’s battle has changed the balance of power in favor of the Syrian government.

He stressed that there is “no winner and defeated in this kind of war.”

Aoun noted that head of Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad would remain in office, adding that those who called for his departure are ignoring the situation in Syria.

“Syria would have become like Libya had it not been for Assad,” he said, adding: “Assad represents the only force that can reestablish order and reunites the entire population.”

On the internal situation, Aoun said that Lebanon was standing in front of its last opportunity to build a strong state through institutions that work in favor of the country and its citizens.

He also stressed that no one is stronger than the State.

“We should have a strong, ready and vigilant security force to defend the national sovereignty,” the president said.

At the personal level, the Lebanese president said that politics should always be at “the service of the others, the state, the nation, the people, and the beautiful environment.”

When asked if he would consider running for a second presidential term, Aoun said: “I am not considering a second mandate, I want to have a good succession.”