Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

Web sites
News Line (905) 270-0565
Phone & Fax (905) 272-9389

March 7/2005

For Immediate Release

The announced Syrian plan to withdraw from Lebanon is a mere maneuver

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese installed illegitimate President, Emile Lahoud declared from Damascus that Syrian troops in Lebanon would start a gradual pullback. They said: "Syrian troops will pull back to Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley by March 31, but a complete troop withdrawal will be deferred until after later negotiations". "Military officials from both countries will decide within a month how many Syrian troops will remain in the Bekaa Valley, and how long they will stay there. A negotiated timeframe to be decided on, and the two governments will "agree to complete the withdrawal of the remaining forces," the joint statement said. Their announcement was made after a meeting that they held today in Damascus.

CLHRF does not trust any commitments made by Mr. Assad's Stalinist Baathist regime, or by the Lebanese Syrian appointed puppet president, Mr. Lahoud. The Lebanese peoples' experience with both men and their military clique and officials is traumatic, bloody and had nothing but deception, murder, camouflage and evil tactics of terror, intimidation and oppression.

The agreement announced today did not set a specific timetable for the complete withdrawal of the Syrian occupation troops from Lebanon. It fell far short of the international and regional demands that Syria completely pull its troops and secret Service intelligence from Lebanon. Assad is maneuvering and trying to gain time. He still hopes to make some changes in international policy, but apparently he's heading for a confrontation with the international community.

The CLHRF, reiterates our peoples' demand for full Liberation, and calls on the UN and Free world countries to keep the pressure on Syria until its forces and secret Service intelligence are entirely out of the country, and the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 is fully respected. This resolution calls on Syria to completely withdraw its forces and intelligence agents from Lebanon before the parliamentary elections that is scheduled for May, stop influencing Lebanese politics, disarmament of all militias, and to allow Lebanon hold free elections.

On behalf of the Lebanese Canadian NGOs and our Lebanese Canadian community who advocate for a free, democratic, sovereign and independent Lebanon, we call on the Free World countries and the United Nations to maintain their pressure on the Syrian Baathists to completely and fully abide by UN Resolution 1559 and not to bow to any Syrian camouflage or procrastination. And most importantly not to be deterred by the Hizbolla's intimidation tactics that its leadership has aggressively started to employ against the majority of the peace loving Lebanese people, and against the UN Resolution 1559.

Hizbollah's General Secretary, Sheik, Hassan Nasrallah openly and officially refused yesterday to disarm his militia and vowed to continue his so called "holly armed war". Nasrallah once vowed: "if the Syrian army was forced to withdraw, we will be Syria's Army in Lebanon". Hizbollah who has called for a pro-Syrian demonstration tomorrow is apparently fulfilling his vow, CLHRF, Media Chairman Edmond El Chidiac said.

The Syria Baathist regime has been for a long time challenging not only the UN and its recent 1559 resolution, but also the will of the whole world. We in the CLHRF strongly believe that the time has come for this regime to taste the bitterness and humiliation that its Iraqi clone has tasted.
Long Live Freedom
Elias Bejjani
CLHRF, Spokesman, LCCC Media Chairman