PrintEmail This Page
Part 2
The second part of a series of books entitled ‘Issam Fares, the Deputy former Prime Minister of Lebanon’ has been issued. The 399-page book includes a series of stances adopted and activities undertaken by Mr. Issam Fares in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon from October 26, 2001 till October 25, 2002.

The book summarizes the transparent stances adopted by Fares in which he emphasizes that politics is based upon transparency. He called upon focusing on productive work, stressing upon Lebanon's constants of freedom, democracy, and truth.

On the Local Level
Throughout the year, Fares rejected any bid to open combats instead of reasonably dealing with the intricate economic, social, and financial files. He called upon staying away from political bickering, respecting Lebanon's Constitution and national unity.

He relentlessly expressed his firm belief that Lebanon is a pioneer in its Arab identity, and a leader in its openness to international friendships. He considered that the unity of the Lebanese rank is a guarantee and an incentive to promote moves towards the Arab World, Europe, the United States, China, Japan, and other friendly and influential states.

Fares resolutely believed in and showed commitment to two parallel constants:
  • The internal national unity is the guarantee of any stability, reform, and progress
  • Arab solidarity is the immunity to safeguard the Arab legitimate rights

Four stages have underlined this year:
  • The cellular& privatization issue
  • The Budget
  • Combating money-laundering
  • Representing the Government in the Parliament's Inquiry Session
Fares focused that the implementation of privatization is linked to the determination of the sectors to privatize, deeming that privatization should be accompanied by serious measures such as comprehensive reforms and enhancing confidence in Lebanon.

Regarding the cellular issue, Fares showed keenness on respecting the Lebanese Constitution, considering that changing the content of the Cabinet's adopted resolutions without resorting to the Cabinet itself amounts to a violation of the Constitution. He showed commitment to preserving the State financial rights and to halt squandering.

Fares called for a careful examination of the Budget to achieved the aspired goals, underscoring the importance to preserve public funds and secure a social assurance network among the citizens, in his belief that national unity is established economically and socially, as well as politically.

Fares always wanted to build up the nation, the nation of Law, Institutions& Ethics. He was the first to call for the enacting of a parliamentary electoral law that guarantees a good representation and promotes democracy, and for the adoption of the Party System which gathers members from various areas and sects.

Furthermore, he was the first to adopt the Administrative Decentralization Law and the balanced development. He emphasized the necessity to mobilize all internal energies and to take advantage of the potentials of the Lebanese expatriates.

His Excellency determinedly believed that Lebanon is for all its compatriots: No minority, no majority, no regional differences or sectarian feuds. On the contrary, all the Lebanese communities are partner in Lebanon. Fares rejected sectarianism and corruption, endeavored for coexistence within a strong unified State ruled by the law.

In the midst of the internal needs and pressures, and in the midst of the regional transformations and the risks they pose, Fares calls for a systematic performance in dealing with the effective problems. Moreover, he called for the convening of an economic and administrative closed-door session to confront unemployment, deficit, immigration, and the spread of the administrative deadlocks, and for drafting an agenda to modernize the State institutions.

It is to note that the key stage of Fares' local activities for this year was the historic visit paid H.E. the President of the Republic Mr. Emile Lahoud to Akkar, accompanied by Mr. Fares. This visit, organized and facilitated by Fares, helped promote a series of new developmental projects aimed at revitalizing the North in general, Akkar in particular.
In the Diplomatic Moves& Foreign Trips
Four parallel lines draw Fares' foreign activities:
  • He followed up his meetings with the accredited Ambassadors in Lebanon, mainly the Ambassadors of the influential powerful States, whether the sisterly Arab nations, or the super powers, Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as the Lebanese diplomats accredited abroad.
  • He followed up his meetings with the officials of the Arab& international organizations, mainly the delegations representing the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, a Russian economic delegation, the Middle East Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, the American Task Force for Lebanon, the Arab Lawyers' Union, the Russian-Lebanese Association Friendship…

    In addition to his meetings with UN senior officials, mainly Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen the United Nations Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Estefan de Mistura the personal representative of the UN Secretary-General to South Lebanon, he met high officials in the Arab League, on top of whom is the General Secretary Amr Mussa, and officials from the ESCWA, an organization that cooperated with the Fares Foundation and established a rehabilitation workshop with workers in the local community, mainly municipalities, associations, and cooperatives in Akkar& the north.
  • He held reunions with senior political figures& personalities who paid solemn visits to Lebanon. We cite as examples the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, a member of the Chinese State Council, Australia's Foreign Minister, and the Iraqi Vice-President. On behalf of H.E. the Lebanese President of the Republic, he received the President of Bahrain and the Prime Minister of the Jordanian Hashemite Kingdom who represented their country during the Arab Summit held in Beirut.
Fares' foreign trips took two directions:

1- He accompanied H.E. President Emile Lahoud in the official visits he paid to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Algeria, and Cyprus where he took part in discussions. In deliberations with the media, Fares stressed that any exposure to the international community is a profit for Lebanon'.

2- Fares kicked off, alone, a series of foreign trips of primordial importance:
  • The United States of America: During this trip, Fares inaugurated Tufts Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies which he established at Tufts University, Boston. This Center is the first to conduct such studies in the United States. During the inauguration ceremony, former US President Bill Clinton delivered a speech on 'Shared Future'.

    Fares also accepted the invitation addressed by the World Economic Forum held at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. Fares was the first Lebanese official to attend the proceedings of the conference during which he had three interventions about the Lebanese-American relations, the minorities in the region, and combating money-laundering. It is worth mentioning that Fares' contacts had contributed in deleting Lebanon's name from the GAFI list. On the sidelines of the conference, His Excellency held a series of meetings with senior US, world, and Arab officials attending the Forum.
  • The Federal Republic of Russia: Fares accepted an invitation to the Republic of Russia where he was offered the 'International Orthodox Unity Fund' prize during a great celebration held at the Savior cathedral in the Russian capital. This prize has been awarded to five international personalities chosen for their great contribution in reinforcing the spiritual and cultural unity among peoples. Apart of Mr. Fares, these personalities are: the Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin, Serbian Patriarch Pavel, the head of the Armenian National Assembly,Armen Khatcharian and the European-Orthodox Parliamentary Association.

    During this remarkable event, Fares was awarded by His Beatitude Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia who is the responsible of the International Orthodox Unity Fund. Mr. Fares was introduced as a man whose contributions in Lebanon and on the international level and whose relentless efforts have helped raise hope in world peace. Issam Fares was also hosted by the Russian Diplomatic Academy where he gave a lecture dubbed 'Prospects for Peace in the Middle East'. He was the first Lebanese and Arab personality to be offered 'The Scarf' of the Academy.

    Later, Fares undertook a series of successive visits to follow up his contacts in Europe or in the United States of America, mainly with former President Georges Bush with whom he preserves excellent friendly ties, and with other officials of the US administration.

    During the same year, he received two official invitations from Mexico& Qatar.