Open Letter To Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Pierre Pettigrew, from ten Lebanese Canadian Organizations Calling on him to withdraw Ottawa's Ambassador from Damascus

February 16/2005

To: The Honorable, Pierre Pettigrew
Foreign Affairs Minister Of Canada


Dear Mr. Pettigrew,
On behalf of organizations and individuals of the Lebanese Canadian community, we thank our Canadian government for finally clarifying Canada's position on UN Resolution 1559.

We strongly urge you to support democracy and freedom for the Lebanese people. Mr. Minister, The best way to do so is to send a very strong message to the Syrian Baathist regime and withdraw the Canadian Ambassador from Damascus. Syria should clearly understand that Canada does not approve its devastating meddling in the domestic affairs of Lebanon, nor its ongoing occupation of that country.

The Syrian regime does not understand, respect, or positively respond to traditional diplomacy and civilized norms of communication. It has been, and still is, boldly hindering the peace process in the Middle East through occupying Lebanon, oppressing its people, assassinating its opposition leaders and harboring terrorism.

Dear Mr. Pettigrew, the whole world is holding Syria and its illegitimate installed Lebanese regime accountable for the assassination of Lebanon's ex-PM Rafic Hariri and for the ongoing sinister threats and intimidation against Lebanon's opposition groups and parties. Those groups and parties are, against all odds, peacefully striving to secure the recovery of Lebanese sovereignty, the evacuation of all foreign forces from Lebanon, the dismantling and banning of all terrorist groups and organizations from Lebanese soil, and the implementation of UN resolution 1559. We ask you to openly join forces with the rest of the free world in supporting those groups and parties, and ensure their safety.

Dear Mr. Pettigrew, we strongly believe that it is time for our Canadian government to adjust its policy towards the Baathist regime in Syria in such a way as to make the policy more consistent with the unified policies of all our allies.

Sincerely,
Signatories
*Robert Hanna/ Council of the Lebanese Canadian Organizations (COLCO)
*Wlliam Azzi/Lebanese Information Centre - Canada - (LIC-Canada)
*George Chamoun/Action For Lebanon, Canada (ALC)
*Maroun Aoun/ Canadian Lebanese cultural club (CLCC)
*Charbel Barakat/The World Lebanese Organization, Canada -(WLO)
*George Chedid/ Phoenician Club of Mississauga (PCM)
*Camille Bhersafi/ The Canadian Lebanese Christian Heritage Club - (CLCHC)
*Toni Muwanis/Canadian Phoenician Community Services Club (CPCSC)
*Edmond El-Chidiac/ Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation - (CLHRF)
*Elias Bejjani/ Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council - (LCCC)