In an interview with “Lebanon TV” on Saturday, Minister of Information, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad Najd, stressed that “dialogue has become a necessity,” emphasizing the need to “engage in dialogue though resorting to words, not arms.”
Abdel Samad renewed the call of her predecessor, Minister Melhem Riachi, to transform the Ministry of Information into a “Ministry of Communication and Dialogue”, in light of the diversity and multiplicity of notions and opinions.
Touching on the Lebanese Television’s status, the Minister deemed that Tele Liban’s complications are the result of a fundamental problem, namely the absence of a board of directors, adding that “every delay in this dossier is a loss.”
Over the recent re-opening of Rafic Hariri International Airport, Abdel Samad said that “reopening the airport is a very positive step, for Lebanon is a distinctive country and so are its people.”
She added: “It is true that our circumstances are very difficult, but they will not prevent us from living our lives and trying to create positivity and hope in our country. Lebanon is ranked among the first 15 countries that were able to combat and contain the Corona pandemic, and this gave the government and the Ministry of Public Health good credit thanks to the policy that was adopted. This is the biggest evidence that the government has managed to administer and control this crisis, at a time when developed countries have failed to do so.”
“As for the airport, we expect all our loved ones abroad to visit, whether expatriates, tourists, foreigners or investors, and we encourage this step because it creates movement in the country,” she went on.
Abdel Samad indicated that “some defects did occur on the first day, but we do not want to blame anyone,” stressing that “any aggression against the media is totally unacceptable under any circumstance and for any reason.”
“We must maintain the status of the security forces in order for them to be able to protect us, and at the same time, we must preserve the media staff for them to portray to us the news image as it is,” the Minister asserted.
Over Lebanon’s ability to get out of its crisis, Abdel Samad said: “We are capable of doing so. Lebanon went through more difficult conditions and managed to overcome them. The most important thing is having unity and determination in our positions, and our main goal should be our homeland first, while political, partisan and sectarian agendas should not be considered. All policies must be devoted to serving the country.”
The Minister pointed out that “part of the monetary crisis is due to the absence of investors, expatriates and the Corona epidemic, because growth in the world has decreased due to this epidemic,” adding that “part of the problem is also socio-economic, and another is psychological, since dramatization leads to citizens’ intimidation and panic and to an increase in demand for the US dollar and an increase in its exchange rate.”
Abdel Samad emphasized that the use of the Lebanese pound must be strengthened within the country, which forms a starting point in support of our lira. She deemed that each and every citizen must contribute to monitoring the prices of consumer goods, adding that attention must also be paid to the greed of merchants.