BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam Monday said the situation in Lebanon was stable and reiterated the readiness of the security forces to handle terror threats, in a meeting with Saudi representatives.
Salam was addressing representatives comprised of business women and female journalists currently on a visit to Lebanon to launch the summer tourism season by going on tours across the country and conducting interviews with political figures.
The visit will be televised and broadcast across the kingdom in order to promote tourism in Lebanon.
In his visit to Kuwait on Sunday, Salam said his the security situation was under control despite a suicide bombing that targeted a checkpoint in Dahr al-Baidar Friday.
For his part, Speaker Nabih Berri announced plans to boost recruitment to the security forces, saying he would persuade the government to recruit 3,000 new Army soldiers and 1,000 General Security personnel in a bid to strengthen security. According to Berri, “Even if this matter is costly, it will be less costly than the loss of the tourism season from which tens of thousands of Lebanese and Lebanese families make a living.”
"The Lebanese are always waiting for the arrival of Saudi Arabians and other brethren from the Gulf,” said Salam during his visit, stressing on the importance of maintaining friendly ties between Lebanon and the Gulf states.
Shortly after his meeting with the Saudi delegation, Salam met with Minister for the Displaced Alice Shabtini, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Muttaleb al- Hinawi, and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel to discuss the Cabinet’s mechanism to work in light of the presidential vacuum.
Last week’s agreement over the governing mechanism stated that certain ministers would be authorized to sign Cabinet decrees on behalf of the president.
According to Shabtini, the meeting discussed the ways the Cabinet would convene in the future and mechanisms to distinguish between ministerial work and the duties of the president. She added that “There are two categories we must separate, our category as ministers and our category as agents working on behalf of the president.”
Salam also met with Health Minister Wael Abu Faour to discuss recent developments.