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granted the Palestinians the right to operate in Southern Lebanon.

These decisions had the unanimous support in Parliament and demonstrated national consensus toward my policies, but did not produce the results I wanted because outsiders with a vested interest in the status quo thwarted my efforts.

With the same commitment, I urge the Israelis to withdraw from Lebanon now. Israel has repeatedly stated it has no territorial ambitions in Lebanon and is only concerned with the security of its northern border. Their presence in Lebanon does not and will not preserve Israeli lives or foster regional peace. Continued Israeli occupation merely serves as cause around which the opponents of peace can rally.

The Lebanese will never be able to reassert their own sovereignty so long as Israel continues to occupy southern Lebanon.

The Syrian role in Lebanon is most pernicious. The Syrians are widely praised for ending the Lebanese war. This is like praising an arsonist for putting out a fire he set.

While many of the problems of Lebanon have been caused by our own shortcomings, Syrian activities exploited and expanded our differences. I truly believe that without Syrian interference and intervention, we Lebanese would have resolved our own problems.

First of all, Lebanese nationalists, Muslims and Christians, have been intimidated, exiled and murdered:

Among those murdered were Muslim religious leader Hassan
Khalid and political leader Rashid Karami, Druze leader
Kamal Junblatt, my own brother, President-elect Bashir
Gemayel, and others.

Other nationalists such as myself and General Aoun, who regrets he cannot be here today, and others have been exiled from Lebanon and not allowed to return and participate in the Lebanese political process.

Lebanese attempts at reconciliation have been blocked by
Syrian action. I include for the record the minutes of
a 1988 meeting between my former foreign minister and the
American ambassador describing Syrian intervention to

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thwart my efforts as president to reach an agreement among the various religious groups. Agreements were reached, but Syrian intervention forced leaders to change their positions.

A most serious problem is the Syrian-sponsored subversion of Lebanese institutions. During the entire time of conflict, we Lebanese maintained our Constitutionally-established institutions. For example, when my term in office came to an end, many argued I should stay beyond the mandated six year limit.

I refused, because of the damage this would have done to our institutions.

In contrast, this appreciation for the sanctity of Lebanese institutions has been disregarded by the current Syrian-sponsored regime which almost casually set aside the Constitution to extend the president's term of office. In so doing, they cast aside our basic safeguard against dictatorship. And with a mere stroke of a pen, the government has granted citizenship to nearly half a million aliens--which would be equivalent to 45 million in the U.S.--using a power which most previous presidents only used to grant under one hundred citizenship requests each during their entire terms.

The international community is standing idly by and watching as Lebanese sovereignty, democratic values and basic human rights are eroded in Lebanon. All the time, they fool themselves that Lebanon is better off under Syrian control.

I am here before you to say that is simply wrong.

The international community harms its own interests as well as those of Lebanon by turning a blind eye to the fate of Lebanon. Most apparent are the use of Lebanon by:

drug traffickers; and,
terrorists.

Neither the present Government of Lebanon nor the Syrian occupying forces are held responsible. Creating a free zone for drug traffickers and terrorist groups to act without restraint is in no one's interest.

policy for those in the region opposed to peace. Ignoring the terrorist presence in Lebanon allcws normal diplomatic relations to continue with states that support terrorism. This may produce short-term benefits, but

in the end, regional peace

regional peace is being undermined, and that is not in anyone's interest.

A free and sovereign Lebanon has the greatest interest in eliminating terrorists and drug traffickers from its own soil.

The international community is not well served by allowing one of its members to have its sovereignty undermined by a neighbor and makes a grave mistake in ignoring the fate of Lebanon.

Peace in the region cannot be enduring if all the people do not benefit.

For the Lebanese, that means the elimination of foreign occupation and undue foreign influence.

For the future, we are determined to work toward

peace based on full sovereignty and full self-determination, and I believe the conditions are ripe for the international community to intervene to establish a lasting peace.

For this purpose, I would suggest the following steps:

--First is the full implementation of the 1989 Taif Agreement
which stipulates a Syrian pullback to East Lebanon away from
Beirut; this Agreement has the full support of the United
States;
--Second must be the withdrawal of Israeli forces from South
Lebanon according to UN resolutions 425, 426 and 520;
--Third, the Syrians must withdraw from all of Lebanon; and
--Fourth, all Lebanese must be able to participate in free
elections held under international supervision.

I am here before you today to urge the United States to support actively a policy based on the principles on which this great nation was founded and to urge rejection of the policies of accommodation and compromise of principle in order to placate our more powerful neighbors. A policy which sacrifices American moral principles, in the end, cannot succeed and will not bring peace to the Middle East.

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

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12 March 1988

US Ambassador, Mr. John Kelly, called me and said he wanted to see me this afternoon. He came to my office and told me the following:

The Mufti, Sheikh Hasan Khalid, sent a special emissary to see Ambassador Kelly and tell him that the position of the Sunnis, including the position of Salim Hoss, on power sharing is that of President Amine Gemayel. The Sunnis, including Dr. Hoss, do not want the bureau of the Speaker of Parliament to consult members of Parliament about appointing a Prime Minister, although Hoss, under pressure, accepted this formulation in Damascus. Also the Sunnis do not want the Prime Minister elected by Parliament. Under no condition do the Sunnis want the Prime Minister designated or appointed in any formula that will give a Shi' Speaker of Parliament power on whom to appoint as Prime Minister.

Kelly continued saying that this is exactly what President Gemayel
has told me and I have reported it to Washington. I am disappointed
that Dr. Hoss changes his mind so often that I no longer know where
he stands. The President has helped me a lot and has improved my
credentials in Washington because, Kelly said, I am always reporting
to Washington the position of President Gemayel and his consistency
and I am now proven correct by events although there are a number of
people in Washington who will be happy to prove me wrong.
that I am also losing confidence in the judgement of Speaker Huseini
who also seems to be speaking a different language in Syria than the
one he speaks to us. Clearly Muslim leaders live in fear and are
taking positions under Syrian pressure.

eAS

juillet 11, 1997

11 juillet 1997

The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, Chairman
· Committee on International Relations
United States House of Representatives
2170 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Please allow me first to thank you for providing me the opportunity to appear before your Committee last month to present my perspectives on the current situation in Lebanon, and to offer my own prescription for beginning to resolve the tensions in my country, remove all foreign forces from our soil and fully restore our dignity and sovereignty.

Our people were encouraged by your hearing to know that there are such important leaders as you in Washington who genuinely are concerned with our plight. That is why I was pleased to outline an interim step towards regional peace which I hope will form the basis of a new U.S. initiative.

There is enclosed a paper I have written which provides more detail on the plan I outlined in my testimony. I would be grateful for your comments and reaction and would encourage you to impress upon the Clinton administration the urgency of our situation. Although I do not know how long this current window of opportunity will remain open, I do know that if people of good will do not act rapidly to assist us, Lebanon's institutions and the very fabric of our society will be torn apart to the point they never will be in a condition to be restored.

Although I did not address the question of easing restrictions on U.S. travel to Lebanon because this paper is intended to be broader in scope, should there be any action to lift the ban, I urge strongly that such a move be made only in the context of the parts of the plan which call for Lebanese government assent to Israeli withdrawal from my country, effective border security arrangements with Israel and redeployment of Syrian forces in compliance with the Taef Agreement. This will strengthen the security all over the country and mainly in and around the Beirut airport.

If the record of your hearing remains open, please feel free to incorporate my letter and plan into it, if you beleive it would be appropriate to do so.

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