Money finally found for Lebanon’s military salaries


Lebanese army in arsalIt only took the army chief one day to force the politicians to find the money needed  for the military  salaries .

An agreement has reportedly been reached on Monday on the  military  salaries   and will be paid finally after some delay in receiving their payments.

“An exceptional but legal formula has been reached to pay the salaries of the military officials,” said Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil.

“We are keen on implementing the law and we must contribute to the preservation of the legal and constitutional rules,” he added after a meeting with Defense Minister Samir Moqbel and Army Commander Gen. Jean Kahwaji.

Moqbel had criticized earlier how officials are handling the issue of delayed wages of military officials, revealing that a solution has been reached over the matter.

Moqbel had said after holding talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam that: “A solution has been reached and God willing at the end of the day, military officials would have been paid.”

He did not give further details.

He credited Salam with devising a solution to the crisis, saying that he “acted with great patience and studied the issue objectively until we reached a positive conclusion.”

He also thanked Khalil for his efforts.

“The army is the guarantor of stability and security for the country,” stressed Moqbel.

“I hope politicians and the media would not meddle in military affairs and allow the army to perform its duties,” he stated.

The military have not received their salaries for the month of October which drew the ire of the army.

Kahwaji was outraged over the delay in payment of salaries to the military and on Sunday  stressed that the issue must be “solved as soon as possible,” assuring that he will not stand idle, al Mustaqbal daily reported on Sunday.

“We will not remain silent, we want the payrolls as soon as possible,” he told al Mustaqbal.

“Some military personnel have not been paid since the Al-Adha holiday and that is 45 days ago. They (government) have to pay, there are a million ways to pay, let them find one. It is not our problem,” the outraged Army chief said.

“We cannot stand and watch while the military get deprived of their salaries,” he added.

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros al-Rai said on Sunday that the Lebanese state has touched the verge of collapse in light of the vacuum at the presidential post and the paralysis of the parliament and government.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea who was the first to announce his candidacy for the presidency blamed Iran for the presidential vacuum and branded the delay in payment of salaries to the military ” a huge scandal”.

“Even during the 15 year civil war the payments of military salaries were never delayed “, Geagea added.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since President Michel Suleiman’s six-year term ended in May 2014.
The government assumed the responsibilities of the head of state on a temporary basis but sharp differences have stopped it short of taking important decisions.

The Baabda Palace vacuum has also caused the parliament’s paralysis.