President Michel Aoun has announced that Lebanon will witness a “historic day” Thursday with the official launch of offshore oil and gas drilling.
“This event should have been launched in 2013, but domestic and political difficulties prevented that,” Aoun said in an address to the nation.
Noting that Lebanon is going through “the severest economic and financial crisis in its modern history,” the president said oil exploration will have “a very important geopolitical impact” and will “affirm our active presence and the elements of our strength and firmness.”
“Today, more than ever, we are determined to shoulder the responsibility of confronting wrong economic policies and successive accumulations,” Aoun added.
He said that oil extraction “will represent a cornerstone for climbing out of the abyss and a drastic juncture for turning our economy from a rentier economy into a productive economy.”
Aoun added that the country’s oil and gas resources are “for all Lebanese,” emphasizing that the revenues “will be a sovereign fortune that will not be wasted or affected by corruption.”
“No group will practice hegemony over it,” he reassured.
The president also vowed that Lebanon will “fiercely defend every drop of its territorial waters where our oil and gas resources are situated.”