Lebanese president vows reforms as protests engulf country

BEIRUT — Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has told tens of thousands of protesters that an economic reform package put forth by the country's prime minister will be the "first step" toward saving Lebanon from economic collapse.

Aoun spoke in an address to the nation on Thursday, pledging to exert every effort to implement radical reform but also saying that change can only come from within state institutions.

He says freedom of transportation must be respected, urging demonstrators to remove roadblocks.

The comments were his first since protests over corruption and mismanagement erupted around the country a week ago.

Aoun said that the protesters' "call will not go unanswered," adding he's ready for constructive dialogue.

The protesters are taking aim at the country's leadership, calling for the government and the president to resign.

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