Foreign Policy and Lebanese-Arab Relations

Lebanonís foreign policy, based on consolidating Lebanonís sovereignty and independence, is part and parcel of the national objectives outlined by the Taif Accord and seeks principally to realize a number of objectives. The most important of these objectives are:

I-         Renewing confidence in Lebanonís role among Arab countries and other world nations and reaffirming its political, cultural and economic presence in the Arab region and the rest of the world, particularly with friendly countries that have enjoyed distinctive and historical relations with Lebanon.

II-      Consolidating friendly and brotherly links between Lebanon and other Arab countries, believing that Arab cooperation is a stepping stone to both Lebanonís economic stability and occupying its position in the region and the world.

III-   Asserting that distinctive LebaneseĖSyrian relations, based on the mutual respect of each countryís sovereignty and independence, stem from historical, geographical, human and cultural realities and common interests. These relations must be expressed in all domains and must remain free from personal interests and external interference.

IV-   Launching wide political and diplomatic campaigns to address the national challenges faced in the political, economic and other spheres. Renewing diplomatic efforts in the service of Lebanonís attempt to achieve more openness and socio-economic progress.

V-      Addressing Lebanese communities all over the world, creating strong integral links between residents and emigrants and between the state and the strategic, human, cultural and economic resources of Lebanese emigrants.

Lebanon has affirmed these and others fundamentals in word and in deed. The new Constitution states that Lebanon has an Arab identity and association and has underscored the fact that the country is both a founding and an active member of the Arab League and is committed to its charter. The Constitution also stressed that Lebanon is a founding and an active member of the United Nations and is committed to its charter and its Declaration of Human Rights.

The state must express these fundamentals in all domains without exception, especially in view of the great challenges that Lebanon and the Arab countries face as a result of their conflict with Israel.

The Lebanese believe in the justice of the Palestinian cause and they fully support the Palestinian call for the right to return and the formation of an independent Palestinian State. The Lebanese refuse any form of Judaization in Jerusalem and attempts to deprive the city of its Arab identity.

It is important in this delicate period of the regionís history to assert Lebanonís commitment to the peace process and to the joint Lebanese-Syrian approach to that process. The peace process should continue to comply with the terms agreed in the Madrid Conference, the international resolutions that call for just and comprehensive peace, and the right of Lebanon and Syria to regain all of their occupied territories.

Lebanon, having received special attention from the United Nations Ė a fact evident in the large number of U.N. resolutions concerning Lebanon ‑ cannot but look forward to a just and comprehensive peace. Lebanon believes that such peace is a pre-requisite of stability in the Middle East and a pre-condition for Lebanon realizing its role and spreading its message.

 Lebanon has long suffered from the consequences of direct and indirect Israeli occupation of its land in two large-scale invasions of 1978 and 1982. Four large-scale aerial onslaughts in 1993, 1996 and 1999 has also contributed to Lebanonís suffering. These hostile acts necessitated the assertion of Lebanonís united position with Syria, and showed that Lebanonís internal political situation must be solidified incorporating all elements of unity, solidarity and stability.

Peace has always been our target, not our bet. This view must remain part and parcel of Lebanese policy for the foreseeable future. We should not, however, be overly optimistic about what could result from the peace process.

Assuming that peace will provide Lebanon with great opportunities that have been unavailable in the past, should not tempt us to disregard the serious challenges that will accompany peace, both internally and externally. Peace will not put an end to conflict in the region; rather, it will bring about new civil, economic, social and cultural challenges. The peace process should encourage us to direct our efforts towards enhancing internal national accord, protecting it from all contradictions. National accord should complement Lebanonís Arab relations, especially on an economic level. This requires the definition of the limits of our partnerships and collaborations with the other Arab nations so we may face the challenges expected to be posed by Israelís economic and cultural proximity.

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The Future Movement

Introduction
Policies
- National Accord
- Co-exixtence
- Annulling Sectarianism in Politics
- Political Reform
- Modernizing and Reforming the Public Administration
- Foreign Policy and Lebanese-Arab Relations
I- Renewng confidence in Lebanonís role within its Arab milieu and in the whole world.
II- Strengthening Lebanonís brotherhood, friendship and cooperative relations with other Arab countries.
III- Emphasizing Lebanonís distinguished relations with Syria.
IV- Developing the role of Lebanonís diplomacy in the countryís economic, social and cultural progress.
V- Addressing Lebanese communities all over the world.
- The Role of Society and the Youth
- The Role of Education
- Democracy and Socio-economic Revival
I- Consolidating democracy, freedoms, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, and developing the foundations of justice in the state.
II- Renewing confidence in the Lebanese economy and polishing Lebanonís distinctive economic characteristics.
III- Activating an economically rewarding foreign policy.
IV- Resolving the public financial situation.
V-

Reducing production cost

   1- Privatization
   2- Encouraging productive sectors
VI- Capitalizing on human resources, developing their qualities, encouraging their productivity, and establishing an accountability system according to the level of productivity and the quality of performance.
VII- Enhancing and activating social services and improving their returns.
VIII- Emphasizing the importance of legislative stability.

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Stressing the Rule of Law
Conclusion