Lebanese President Michel Aoun has expressed his willingness to meet with demonstrators to find the best solution to the country's worsening economic crisis, and suggested that a government reshuffle be on the table.
The call for dialogue came on Thursday as anti-government The protests in Lebanon began an eighth day and paralyzed the country, even though Prime Minister Saad Hariri introduced a reform package that also cut salary rates nationwide uprising against the sectarian leaders of the country the protesters accuse corruption and mismanagement "
He pledged to combat the state corruption demanded by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators and said he would support new laws, including legislative proposals that would increase bank secrecy and immunity Steps that could pave the way for investigation
In solidarity with protest complaints, he said corruption had "eaten us to the bone."
He promised to make every effort undertake radical reforms but also said that this could only come from state institutions.
"I heard many calls to overthrow the regime," he said. "The regime can not be changed on the squares … this can only happen through state institutions."
Both Hariri and Aoun have warned that a government's resignation would lead to another vacuum at a time when the country urgently needs a government to adopt reforms to help the troubled economy.
He however, said it was "necessary to review the current government."
"My call to the demonstrators: I am ready to meet your representatives who represent your interests. They will learn from us about our fears of financial collapse," he said.
"Dialogue is always the best for salvation, I'm waiting for you."
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Aoun's remarks are his first since protests began on Thursday, but his speech was mocked during demonstrations in the Lebanese capital Beirut and other cities.
Dozens of protesters listened to Rabah Shahrour said he was sick of hearing the same speeches for years. "We searched a bit." hope for him, "he told AFP," but unfortunately, the president has spoken today in general. We have heard these general statements for three years and they have led to nothing. "
Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said that Aoun's pledges were not enough to outweigh protesters.
" The demonstrators trust the rulers not. They want a technocratic government, ministers who are not affiliated with the various political parties and who work in the interests of Lebanon. They also want early elections – Aoun responded.
"He said that if you want to change something, you have to go through constitutional means, change can not come from the street, what he means is the next election, the ballot box, so clear that he did not meet the demands of the demonstrators but addresses the demonstrators. "
Lebanese journalist Jamal Ghosn told Al Jazeera that the president's speech was a government tactic to try to achieve this" defuse the protests. "
"They [the Lebanese government] will try to resolve the protest by any means, and they do not seem prepared to change," he said.
Ghosn added unless the protesters continue demonstrating It was unlikely that the government would address their concerns.
"If they [the protesters] have the prerequisites to keep things going [for more than one week] things could change.
" Another possibility would be for the protests to escalate and exert more pressure [on the state] ", he added.
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Al Jazeera and news agencies