November 17th, 2000
The Office of His Excellency Mr Kofi Annan
Secretary GeneralUnited Nations Organization
New York, USA
RE:  Lebanon

Dear Mr Annan
On behalf of the World Maronite Union (WMU) a Diaspora based organization which represents the aspirations of more then six million Maronites from Lebanese descent distributed in more than 40 nations, I would like to draw your attention to increasing demands by large sectors of the Lebanese society for a redeployment of the Syrian Army from Lebanon. Such an increase is an expression of the will of the Lebanese civil society and must be taken seriously by the international community.
As of last September the Council of the Maronite Bishops has issued a declaration calling for the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon in application of the Taif agreement. The Council, spiritual representative of one of Lebanon's main communities has made it clear that the presence of the Syrian military is contrary to the will of the Lebanese people. Moreover, more political leaders, student organizations, human rights groups, journalists, and community leaders are voicing their concerns about the Syrian presence and the lack of political freedoms in the country. Over the past few weeks, members of Parliament from the Maronite, Druse, and Greek Orthodox communities have called on the Lebanese Government to redefine Syria's role in Lebanon and initiate a program for withdrawal.
Unfortunately the international community has not yet responded to the increasing political and democratic expression by the Lebanese people to evacuate foreign forces from Lebanon. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 (September 18, 1982)  calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon. We believe that the United Nations, in light of this
resolution and of the mounting  opposition by the Lebanese people must intervene to help the latter achieve this goal.
We urge you to initiate a diplomatic mission towards Lebanon and send a representative to meet with the Council of Maronite Bishops, the members of  Parliament, the student leaders and the human rights organizations which have
expressed their rejection of the continuing  presence of foreign forces in Lebanon. Such a mission may avoid further escalation in our mother country and provide a framework for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Sincerely yours
Sami el-Khoury
World Maronite Union