- Press Release -

Media & Public Relation Office

New York, NY November 7, 2005


United Nations officials discuss the situation in Lebanon with the leadership of the American Lebanese Coalition (ALC).

A delegation of the ALC headed by its President Dr. Joseph Gebeily, Vice Presidents Joseph Hage and Milad Zohrob and delegates Dr. Elie Semaan, Fadi Farhat and Adel Sleiman spent Monday November 7th at the United Nations discussing the critical issues concerning Lebanon, and the role of the United Nations in addressing the current threats facing the Lebanese people.

 

The UN Secretary General's Special Envoy Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen with his assistant Fabrice Aidan received the ALC delegation who acknowledged Mr. Roed-Larsenís important work in the implementation of UNSCR 1559. Mr. Roed-Larsen assured the ALC of the Security Councilís and the Secretary Generalís total commitment to the implementation of all the clauses in USCR 1559, giving a chance to the Lebanese first to negotiate the proper way to disarm the Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, before resorting to other means. He also deplored the negative influence of some of the regional powers in supporting and arming those militias.

 

The United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mr. John Bolton received the ALC delegation which gratefully recognized the efforts of the Ambassador, of Secretary Condoleezza Rice and of the US Administration in securing the passage of the many resolutions in support of Lebanon, including the last one: UNSCR 1636. The stability and security of Lebanon were discussed, especially with the continuous presence of armed groups supported by Syria and Iran. Ambassador Bolton is closely following the implementation of UNSCR 1559 and 1636 and is ready to consider more resolutions to accomplish the US goal of a sovereign and democratic Lebanon, free from all foreign interference.

 

At the United Kingdomís Mission, the Political Counselor Mr. Paul Johnston and the Political Secretary Ms Catherine Brooker welcomed the ALC Delegation and reiterated the full commitment of the United Kingdom to the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon. They shared the same concerns the ALC had regarding regional interferences into Lebanese affairs undermining the stability and peace not only in Lebanon, but also in the whole region as a well.

 

The French Mission was the last visit for the ALC delegation. The delegates thanked Mr. Michel Duclos, Deputy Permanent Representative and Mr. Ludovic Pouille, First Secretary for the firm support of the French Government to Lebanon and offered their sympathy to the French people through the current civil unrest in France. Political, economic and security issues were addressed at length, stressing the fact that the Lebanese were able throughout their history to work out their differences in a peaceful manner when left without the destructive regional interference. Mr. Duclos exchanged ideas with the delegates about the different solutions to the Lebanese problems, stressing that instability and unrest in the region are caused by the same regimes interfering in Lebanese affairs.

 

The ALC presented a detailed dossier to the UN Diplomats and was distributed later to all members of the current Security Council. The ALC stressed in its presentation the importance of Lebanon in providing peace and stability in the Middle East, advancing democracy and freedom in the Arab world and promoting inter-religious dialogue and coexistence. The ALC discussed with the members of the Security Council different proposals and practical steps to shield Lebanon from all the harmful intrusions and heard from all the UN Representatives the need to respect Lebanese sovereignty and territorial integrity through a clear delineation and demarcation of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the exchange of formal diplomatic representation between Lebanon and Syria.

Moreover the ALC delegation raised the issue of Lebanese detainees in Syrian prisons. The unanimous response of all the Missions was one of dismay to such tragedy and flagrant abuse of human rights. All Missions committed their efforts to find ways through the Security Council and through humanitarian organizations to investigate the fate of those Lebanese in Syrian prisons, because that is a crime against humanity and flat out disrespect to the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon.

 


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