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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 12th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow The speech Remarks delivered by Culture Minister Tarek Mitri at the Annapolis conference
The speech Remarks delivered by Culture Minister Tarek Mitri at the Annapolis conference PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tarek Mitri   
Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Tarek Mitri
Tarek Mitri

First person by Tarek Mitri





The speech Remarks delivered by Culture Minister Tarek Mitri at the Annapolis conference
By Tarek Mitri
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
First person by Tarek Mitri

We have come to Annapolis to affirm Lebanon's adherence to the unanimously approved stance of the Ministerial Committee of the Arab peace initiative. We have joined this important international gathering to express, once again, our solidarity with the Palestinian people. We are here to renew our commitment to a comprehensive and just solution that will secure the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital and the withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied in 1967. We thank our host, the United States of America, for convening this meeting in order to mobilize efforts to earnestly achieve meaningful progress toward a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

To be sure, such progress is dependent on the follow-up of this meeting, including the adoption of a timeframe for subsequent steps, as well as a monitoring mechanism to guarantee that what is agreed upon is implemented on the known terms of reference of the peace process: those of the Security Council resolutions, 242, 338, 1397, and all relevant resolutions, the Madrid peace conference, the Arab peace initiative and the road map.

Lebanon's adoption of the Beirut 2002 Arab peace initiative has been a matter of broad national consensus. We see in it an affirmation of a strategic option for a historical comprehensive compromise in accordance with international legality. It is also an affirmation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. A solution to the Palestinian problem cannot ignore the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. It has to be just and in conformity with the UN Resolution 194.

Lebanon rejects the permanent resettlement of Palestinian refugees on its territory. This is a question of national consensus which is stipulated in its Constitution, as it pertains to the very fabric and the specific identity of Lebanon. Moreover, the Arab peace initiative supports Lebanon's position by rejecting all forms of Palestinian resettlement which conflict with the special circumstances of Arab host countries.

In addition, there are issues of vital concern for Lebanon, whose people have suffered seven most damaging Israeli invasions in the last three decades, and continues to bear, in every respect, their costly consequences. These issues are: the end of the Israeli occupation of the Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shuba Hills and the northern part of the village of Ghajar, the release of the prisoners and detainees, providing the maps of land mines and cluster bombs, putting an end to the Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty by air, land and sea, and the infringement on the sovereign right of Lebanon to make use of its water resources. These questions must not be a subject of negotiations for their solutions are governed by the relevant UNSC resolutions, more particularly Resolution 1701. The international community is called upon to secure the full implementation of this resolution and its provision for a permanent cease-fire.

On a final note, it is needless to say that neither security nor stability can be based on force. It is also needless to repeat that occupation and legitimate sentiments of injustice exacerbate anger and lead to more violence. They point to the root causes of the central and longest conflict in our region. Partial and unilateral initiatives have all but failed. It is time for the international community not to let urgent and immediate problems overshadow the need for a just and comprehensive solution. Only such solution would be a durable one. Then, they will beat their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2: 4).

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