In an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Qatari newspaper, he said: “Our ability to print the passport is a maximum of 3,500 passports per day, while the number of applicants for a passport per day has increased to 8,000. Thus, we have accumulated a deficit of approximately 5,000 passports per day, not We have the ability to accomplish them.This matter caused a shock and some thought that there were no longer passports and that the quantity would run out, which doubled the demand, in addition to others who believed that the passport fees would be raised as a result of the collapse in the price of the lira.On the other hand, there are shocking facts that 60 % of those who applied for a passport did not receive it, and there are about 6,000 completed passports that are in the public security coffers and that their owners did not receive.
He reassured, “The people with apprehensions that the directorate has assigned the competent authority to print one million passports, which is currently under printing, and the quantity will be ready within two months, knowing that we now have sufficient quantities to meet the needs of the Lebanese in passports. Thus, there is no problem with passports.”
Regarding the file of investigations into the explosion in the port of Beirut, he said: “In the end, this file must be resolved. The government will not remain stuck on the issue of the judicial investigator regarding his continuation or not in his work. There are constitutional institutions and it is possible to find a solution through laws. It needs internal contacts with the parties to remove obstacles, but the solution will remain within the constitutional frameworks and the judicial institution.”
And whether the bet will be on what the House of Representatives decides, he said: “Yes, this is true. It is expected that the controversy will be resolved in the House of Representatives. Thus, the way out and adherence to the principle of separation of powers, because the government does not have the authority to interfere in the work of the judiciary, while in the House of Representatives as a legislative authority it can Determining who has the authority to try presidents, ministers, and representatives. Is it the authority of a higher body in the parliament, or the authority of the judicial investigator, and therefore the issue is the interpretation of laws?
In response to a question about the possibility of the security situation deteriorating as a result of the economic and living crisis, he replied: “I do not think that the security situation may break out due to the living situation. The dollar has reached a record high and security is still maintained. In addition, the people’s needs are still in a narrow range compared to the deterioration of the living situation. This matter can be treated with politics because the security situation is affected by political developments, and in the event that negotiations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund took their course in a short period, I think that most of the tension will ease, including the movements in the street.”
Question: Are you afraid of taking advantage of street movements to disrupt the elections?
He replied: “Everything in Lebanon is possible, but despite the insistence of the political parties and the international community to hold elections, the possibility of using street protests remains possible, knowing that the army and security services are fully prepared to deal with any possibility of postponing the elections. I rule out postponing the elections.”
Question: Are there those who complain about the increasing arrest of some activists on social media upon their return to Lebanon?
He answered: “The relationship of the security services with the tweeters or the non-tweeters stems from the fact that we are the most expressive countries to the point of evasion. I do not think that anyone has been exposed to my media in general except according to the law and the judiciary, and according to the constitution and the law, exposure to certain positions is subject to punishment. And when the services arrest any activist. They arrest him according to the law and refer him to the judiciary. There is no problem between the security services, activists and the media. We, as security agencies, are an executive tool between the judicial authorities and the law. We are not concerned with interpreting the law, we are concerned with its implementation.”
In response to a question, he said: “Part of my political ambition is based on this point, which is the abolition of political sectarianism. A state based on sectarianism is not upright, because sectarianism breeds fanaticism, fanaticism breeds ignorance and ignorance destroys the country. When we resort to competence in selecting people to take positions in the state away from Sectarianism will have a state based on the law. I am confident that the majority of the people disbelieve in sectarianism and want salvation from sectarianism, and the time has come to implement laws to abolish political sectarianism and enter the civil state. The Lebanese people are ready to be liberated from sectarian restrictions.
He added, “I do not think that Hezbollah at home is the problem. I think that the role of Hezbollah in the region and the region is the one that negatively rebounds on the Lebanese reality. There is no problem with Hezbollah as a player in the Lebanese arena, but the negative repercussions stem from Hezbollah as a regional player.”
On the extent to which Lebanon is affected by the presence of Syrian refugees on its land, he said: “Lebanon bears a great burden, as the number of displaced persons has reached two million, and this number exceeds a third of the people. Lebanon has incurred about 33 billion dollars to spend on the displaced. Unfortunately, the international community is not helping. The volume of international aid that It provided the displaced with no more than 10 dollars, while the studies that we conducted revealed that the cost of the displaced in Germany is 500 euros per month, while no more than 10 dollars is spent on the displaced in Lebanon, and therefore the state bears the rest of the expenses and needs of the displaced. And sanitation, treatment, hospitals, services and electricity.These displaced people use electricity without paying any fees.The international community and the international organizations concerned with following up on their situation do not pay the Lebanese state the cost of these burdens, and therefore the amount of 33 billion that Lebanon spent on the displaced constitutes half of our problems, but despite that we do not deny that we Brothers, and just as the Lebanese used to move to Syria during crises, so is our duty to host the displaced Syrians.”
On ways to get out of the economic crisis and limit the rise in the price of the dollar, he said: “The currently available way out is negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, because we are participants in the World Bank and we have money in the World Bank, and we will get one billion dollars from the World Bank in order to occupy our economy with the minimum.” As for the International Monetary Fund, it has harsh conditions for assistance, knowing that the actual price of the dollar does not exceed 7,000 pounds, so the current circulating price of 25,000 pounds to the dollar is not based on economic data. Suspicious applications, which are open outside Lebanon, and are working on the collapse of the Lebanese economy to increase political pressure, and we wrote to the countries from which these applications are issued, but they did not respond to us, and the Central Bank of Lebanon addressed the central banks in those countries and did not find a response, and therefore the dollar game in Lebanon with an international dimension
Regarding the relationship with the State of Qatar, he said: “We have very good and more than excellent relations with Doha at all levels, especially with His Highness the Emir, for whom I have affection, appreciation and respect. I have a long history of joint mediation with the Qatari brothers and many complex files that we were able to solve.” Starting with the Azaz file, to the Maaloula Sisters, and many other files.”
And whether the research, during President Michel Aoun’s visit to Qatar, touched on supplying Lebanon with Qatari gas, Ibrahim stressed that “the research touched on this file, and we saw a Qatari desire and will to help Lebanon.”
He concluded: “If we need Qatari gas, the brothers in Qatar are ready to supply the necessary quantities to cover its needs, but there are still details to be followed up, including the issue of financing, but in principle, His Highness the Emir’s directives are clear and explicit, which is to help Lebanon with everything that Qatar can help with. And I think we will get the national assistance that we need.”