Michel Aoun Monday formally swore the oath of office to become Lebanon's 13th president, more than two years after a power void drained the country's institutions and economy.
While reciting his oath, the president said that political stability could only be secured by "respecting the National Pact, the Constitution and the laws, through true national partnership that is the core of our system."
He called for the full implementation of Lebanon's National Charter without "selectivity or discrimination" and to develop it as needed.
Aoun stressed the need to "dissociate [Lebanon] from the conflicts surrounding it and respect the Arab League by-laws."
Turning to the conflict with Israel, Aoun said that he would exert all necessary efforts to "free the remaining occupied land and [to] protect our country from an enemy that is still threatening our [Lebanon's] resources and water."
Lebanon's battle against terrorism would continue "with preemptive strikes until it is eliminated," Aoun continued.
The speech touched on Lebanon's Syrian refugees as well, with Aoun hoping that the "displaced would quickly return to their homeland and abstain from turning [the country's] refugee camps into security hubs."
Lebanon has officially registered 1.5 million refugees, but the actual number hovers around 2 million.
"No solution should be made in Syria that doesn't include the return of refugees," Aoun said.
The president said that Lebanon was “facing a critical stage in Lebanon and we have a lot to overcome difficulties.”
Aoun vowed to strengthen the Lebanese Army to enable it to prevent aggressors from targeting Lebanon’s territories.
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