BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said Thursday political leaders should follow the instructions of the state and its security institutions to maintain stability and fend off external threats, such as global terrorism.
In his speech marking General Security's establishment 68 years ago, Sleiman also praised the achievements of the security agency in uncovering espionage networks and tracking security violators.
He also noted that the agency head, Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, has also been tasked to coordinate with foreign security agencies, as in the case of the Lebanese kidnapped in Syria, saying:“The time has come to end their suffering and follow up on the issue continously.”
“[The country faces] foreign dangers represented by the Israeli enemy, and global terrorism as Israel sees a threat to its racist entity in Lebanon, so it continues to plant strife with aggression against our sovereignty, regardless of international law and resolutions,” Sleiman said.
“Terrorism is happening in all countries and planting fear and chaos everywhere. The terror cells, the bombing, the rocket launching and kidnapping is an example of what global terrorism has in store for all countries,” he added.
Sleiman, who attended the ceremony at General Security’s headquarters in Beirut, said Lebanon is also facing domestic dangers as a result of “blinding political disputes, seasonal interests, and lost bets on what is going on around us particularly in Syria.”
“The most dangerous of these bets is every party's conviction that their hold to power is the solution, as if institutions, security and the judiciary would function better [of this happened] and as if this can happen in a day,” he said.
The president said confronting such danger is the responsibility of all, as is committing to the laws of the state and its institutions.
“Political leaders should secure agreements to build a state and preserve and secure the longevity of its state institutions,” he said, adding that institutions should remain distant from changing political interests.
“If politics is changing based on interest, institutions should survive and remain committed to securing the needs of the people without being affected by political disputes or vacuums,” he said.
Sleiman said the role of political leaders was to help develop security agencies face the Israeli threat.
“Our military institutions deserve our full attention to secure and officials and constitutional institutions should continue to equip them in parallel with implementing a national defense strategy ... to benefit resistance capabilities in order to face the Israeli machine,” he said.
He called on security agencies to work together as one body.
“Stay as you are: United in achieving tasks and believing in institutions to fend off security breaches and violations, as well as the dangers threatening our country,” he said.
He also spoke about corruption in the public sector, saying political reform is the basis of all other reforms.
“The first sign that there is a will [by politicians] to reform is by drafting an electoral law to achieve fairness and the best representation for all,” he added.
Meanwhile, General Security head Maj. Gen. Ibrahim also gave a speech saluting the agency's fallen members and saying Lebanon should redirect its focus toward Israel.
“We are celebrating during a difficult time in the region and Lebanon,” he said during the ceremony.
“The Israeli enemy is happy because our compass has been diverted from its proper direction,” Ibrahim added. “Today the Lebanese are divided and are missing out on an historic opportunity to heal their wounds.”