Presidential speculations unveiled: General Aoun prioritizes the army, security, and Lebanon's future

Press Highlights
2023-09-19 | 04:29
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Presidential speculations unveiled: General Aoun prioritizes the army, security, and Lebanon's future
Presidential speculations unveiled: General Aoun prioritizes the army, security, and Lebanon's future

The Lebanese Army Commander in Chief, General Joseph Aoun, met with a delegation from the Press Syndicate led by Aouni al-Kaaki. During the meeting, General Aoun answered the questions of the syndicate members who raised concerns about the country and the citizens.

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese Elshark Newspaper.

The Army Commander spoke candidly about everything, and if there is a headline for his words, it is his repeated statement: "What matters to me is the army; without the army, there is no country, and journalists cannot write, nor can students go to school."

Despite the political questions raised, General Joseph Aoun insists that his main concern is national affairs and how to protect the army and make it capable of continuing its mission. 

He emphasized that what protects the army and enables it to endure despite difficult circumstances is the commitment of its members and their willingness to sacrifice for their national mission. 

The second factor that helps the army withstand is the support of the Lebanese people, in addition to the external assistance it receives. 

It is worth mentioning the donations made by Lebanese citizens inside and outside the country.

When asked about the presidential rumors, the Army Commander responded: "I hear political news like you do from the media." General Aoun repeats: "My concern is the army."

The Army Commander also discussed the situation in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp and the challenges the army faces there. 

He stated that he cannot confirm whether there is a decision to involve the army in the camp's conflict, but he also cannot confirm the absence of such intentions. 

He affirmed that the army learned from the experience of Nahr al-Bared and has taken all necessary measures to ensure its security and the security of the surrounding Lebanese areas.

General Aoun ruled out the possibility of a repetition of what happened in Ain al-Hilweh in Nahr al-Bared, as the latter had a single extremist organization, while Ain al-Hilweh had different factions, creating a balance of power.

Regarding the issue of the presidency, General Joseph Aoun announced, "The issue of the presidency does not concern me, and I have not discussed it with anyone, nor has anyone discussed it with me."

He mentioned that smuggling is now under control, with an 85 percent success rate, but he added, "The borders are vast, open, and overlapping, and we do not have the logistical capabilities to fully secure them. We have three thousand soldiers when we need forty thousand. We do everything necessary."

He emphasized that combating smuggling is a joint responsibility, starting from citizens, municipalities, official administrations, and up to the army.

As for drugs, the Army Commander affirmed that all Captagon factories were eliminated due to the raids, but today, they have resorted to an innovative method: setting up small factories in mobile vans.

During the meeting, the Army Commander emphasized the issue of security, saying, "Our priority is security, and we work day and night to maintain it. Weapons are widespread and uncontrolled, and the judiciary does not help us in apprehending those who evade the law."

Regarding the land borders, the Army Commander talked about what he described as an "American interest in demarcating the land borders."

He mentioned that there are 134 disputed points, but seven of them have been resolved, and five remain. The only party capable of achieving this is the mediator, Amos Hochstein.

Concerning the dinner he had with Hochstein, he said, "I had previously invited him during previous visits, but he was busy. In the last visit, I received a call from the US Ambassador informing me of his acceptance of the dinner invitation."

Regarding the disagreement with the Minister of Defense, General Aoun clarified that the issue is not personal but governed by a law that regulates matters. 

The Ministry of Defense has authority and supervision over the army, but the army is not subject to it. 

He emphasized that he is the Army Commander, not a Director-General, which makes the army different from other ministries and institutions. 

He expressed concern about the lack of an appointment for the Chief of Staff, which often prevents him from accepting travel invitations because he is tied to the operations room and the oversight of army affairs.

Lebanon News

Press Highlights


Army Commander

General Joseph Aoun

Press Syndicate

Aouni Al-Kaaki

Lebanese Army



Ain Al-Hilweh



Land borders



Amos Hochstein

Minister Of Defense

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