Agreement signed by Mr. N. Berri, Mr. E. Hobeika, Mr. W. Joumblatt and witnessed by the Vice-President of Syria Mr. A. Khaddam
Amid the tragic, extraordinary circumstances that have been afflicting Lebanon, the conferees have drawn up a national solution based on our people's aspirations towards liberating the land from the Israeli occupation, restoring security and peace to the homeland, and establishing a sound, democratic regime by upholding justice and equality, both politically and socially, and realizing the Lebanese people's ambitions in all fields. this solution requires a comprehensive national commitment and pan-Arab strength represented in implementing special relations with fraternal Syria, which did not and will never spare any effort, under President struggler Hafez El-Asad's leadership, to deliver Lebanon and protect its independence, unity, and Arab affiliation and to lead it toward a democratic solution for its various struggles.
Chapter 1: General Principles.
Lebanon's Identity:Lebanon is an independent, free, and sovereign state in terms of its territory, people, and institutions within its boundaries outlined in the Lebanese Constitution that are internationally recognized. It is of Arab affiliation and identity; an active, founding member of the Arab League; and it is committed to the various Arab League charters. The state embodies these principles in various fields and areas without exception. Lebanon is also a member of the United Nations and is committed to the UN charter.
Lebanon's Unity:Absolute adherence to Lebanon's unity. All partition plans, all forms of discrimination, and all proposals of political decentralization such as federations, cantons, and decentralization in security and development are rejected. this position makes inevitable the imposition of personal safety and settlement in any Lebanese site in any form and regardless of the period of this settlement.
The Political System:Lebanon is democratic, parliamentary republic established on the basis of respect for public freedoms, particularly the freedom of opinion and creed. It is also based on the principles of separation of powers and social justice and equality of duties and rights of all citizens, without any discrimination or preference, within a free economic system based on comprehensive scientific planning of various resources, needs and activities in all areas. It is a country of human dignity and cultural ambitions.
Chapter II: The Principles of the Political System.
Efforts to strengthen the spirit of national growth and democratic practice require replacement of the current sectarian formula with a national one that can guarantee the people's participation and representation in a political authority capable of expressing the people's aspiration and ambitions on the national level and on the basis of freedom, social justice, equality, equal opportunities, development, and security. Hence, it was agreed that the building of Lebanon's future and the establishment of a modern, developed state is free from legacy of the past necessitate the cancellation of the sectarian system. As a result, a new constitution will be drafted on the basis of reinforcing the homeland's unity, independence, Arab affiliation, and democratic system, as well as a full equality among the citizens. This constitution, which will be drafted within one year at the most, will include the following basic principles provisions:
The Stage of Moving toward Complete Non-Sectarianism:
A new government will be formed immediately. The beginning of the transitional stage will be the date this government is formed.
The stage of ending the state of war in Lebanon will be no more than one year beginning with the date of forming the new government in accordance with what is stated in Chapter V of this agreement.
the present Chamber of Deputies will be entrenched and expanded after forming the new government by appointing new deputies in accordance with the principles of equal sharing between Muslims and Christians and equality among the three greater sects, and on the basis of numbers determined by this agreement. Within the period of one year at the most, all legal and constitutional texts relating to implementing the transitional reforms mentioned in this document will be applied.
The transitional stage will end when the Chamber of Deputies makes a decision to determine the beginning of the date for working for a total cancellation of sectarianism in a accordance with the following:
After restoration of normal situation in the country, the government will call for electing a new Chamber of Deputies on the basis of a new electoral law in accordance with the principles mentioned in the agreement.
During the second half of the term of the first elected Chamber of Deputies, the government will propose a plan to determine the date of the beginning work to cancel sectarianism in parliamentary representation, the three executives [the prime minister, the president, and speaker of the Chamber of Deputies], the ministries, and class A jobs. the majority required for approving the plan will be two thirds of the members of the Chamber of Deputies.
If the plan is not approved, the vote required for its approval will become 55 percent beginning with the second half of the term of the second elected Chamber of Deputies.
If the plan is not approved the cancellation of sectarianism in parliamentary representation, in the presidencies, the ministries, the class A job or those equivalent, during the first half of the term of the third elected Chamber of Deputies, will be decided legally.
Chapter III: The Rules of the Transitional Stage.
During the transitional stage, and in order to establish sound balance in jurisdictions between the legislative and executive powers, along with guaranteeing the independence of the judicial system under the canopy of the democratic, parliamentary, republican system, the following rules will be adopted and the constitutional or organizational laws and articles will be issued, amended, or suspended in accordance with the principles that would guarantee their applications:
In the executive power:
I. The President of the Republic:
1.the election of the President: After reforming the conditions of the legislative power in accordance with the principles that will follow, the majority required for electing the President of the Republic will be 55 percent of the legal number of the Chamber of Deputies in session that will follow the first session. The legal quorum for conducting elections in all sessions will be seven-tenths of the number of members of the Chamber of Deputies.
The power of the President of the Republic:
A.the President of the Republic is considered the head of state and symbol of the country's unity. He is responsible for respecting the constitution and for safeguarding Lebanon's independence, unity, territorial integrity, and national unity. The President of the Republic shall take a constitutional oath.
B.The President of the Republic is considered the supreme commander of the Army.
C.The President of the Republic signs all decrees and issues laws within limited periods after approval by the competent authorities. He also transfers draft laws to the legislative power. He also has the right to oppose [laws], in accordance with the principles stated in this document, within the periods defined in it. During the forty day period, the President of the Republic shall also issue all the laws of a top-priority nature that the Council of Ministers transfers to the Chamber of Deputies.
D.the President of The Republic names the prime minister and issues decrees forming the cabinet in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 of this chapter. He will also issue decisions considering the cabinet as resigned in case enunciated in this document. Until legislative power is formed by increasing the number of deputies in accordance with this agreement, the government will be formed in accordance with the requirements of reconciliation and in a way conducive to implementing this program.
E.The President of the Republic presides over and participates in discussions-with no voting power during the meetings of the following:
F.The President receives credentials, receives diplomatic representatives, and presides over official receptions.
G.The President grants state medals.
H.The President is not held responsible for the consequences of his exercising his powers except in cases which the constitution terms as high treason.
I.the President grants special reprieves and proposes and issues general amnesty law.
J.The President issues decrees accepting the resignation of any of the cabinet ministers after the agreement by the Prime Minister. He can ask any minister to resign after the agreement by the cabinet.
K.Whenever the need arises, the President can address messages to the Chamber of Deputies and ministers if he deems it necessary.
L.The President chooses the employees of the presidency from among the employees of the state administration.
II. The Council of Ministers:
1.T Council of Ministers is composed of its chairman, a number of ministers of state, and ministers with ministerial portfolios. The necessary quorum for a cabinet meeting is two-thirds of its members.
2.The executive power will be prerogative of the Council of Ministers, which exercises all executive and administrative powers and draws up the state's general policy in its capacity as the body solely responsible to the legislative power and the people. These powers includes:
A.Drawing up the state's general policy in the political, economic, defensive, financial, developmental, educational, and social fields as well in other areas.
B.Drawing up draft laws and decrees, making the necessary decisions to implement state policy, and assigning top-priority precedence to draft laws whenever it deems this necessary.
C.Insuring implementation of laws and regulations and monitoring the performance of all state organs and establishments, including the military ones.
D.Enacting and canceling the state of emergency as well as war, general mobilization, and international treaties and agreements, taking into consideration the prerogatives of the legislative power.
E.Directing and coordinating the work of the ministries and al state administrations and general establishments.
F.Drawing up the state budget bill and laying down comprehensive and long-term development plans.
G.Dissolving the Chamber of Deputies by a justified decision and calling the Chamber of Deputies into extraordinary sessions.
H.Appointing class A employees or their equals and asking them to resign or accepting their resignation in accordance with legal practice.
III. The Ministerial Council
The Ministerial Council is made up of the prime minister and the government's ministers and makes its decisions on a consensus basis. In case of dispute, the issue will be presented to the Council of Ministers to make the appropriate decision. This Council's duties are:
IV. The Prime Minister:
V. The Formation and Resignation of the Government and the Time Limit for issuing laws and decrees:
In case of differences, and if the prime minister and minister in charge of the draft decree, the draft decree then will be transformed to the Council of Ministers for settlement. The same period will be given to the prime minister and the Ministerial Council as of submitting the draft decrees for the general secretariat. However, laws approved by the Chamber of Deputies will be applied within periods stated in Article 56 of the current Constitution.
In the Legislative Power:
In Civil Service Jobs:
In the Supreme Constitutional Courts:
In the Social and Economic Council:
In the Administrative Decentralization:
The administrative system stated in Legislative Decree No. 116 dated 12 June 1959 to reinforce the administrative decentralization shall be reexamined:
Education and learning:
Concerning the issue of nationality:
In the Military and Security Fields:
1. The Army:
The Army's basic task is to protect the nation from any foreign aggression, particularly Israeli aggression against Lebanon. the Army's most important role in this regard is resisting the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory. As for reconstructing the Army, this will be effected in accordance with a nationalist, ideological creed to whose principles all Army personnel will be committed and which will be based on the principals that defines Lebanon identity and affiliation with its Arab surroundings. The Army's structure will be in harmony with Lebanon's pursuit of strategic coordination and integration with Syria.
In accordance with this concept, the following principles will be adhered to:
A.The duties of the Army are defined within the Supreme Defense Council in accordance with the defense law.
2. The Internal Security Forces:
The duty of maintaining security in Lebanese territory is entrusted to the internal security forces. These forces will be reinforced in equipment and numbers and their central organs and regional units Will be reorganized as quickly as possible. This requires recruitment sot hat the forces can be used effectively to protect the citizens' security in all Lebanese area. Organs for collecting information will also be reinforced.
3. The Public Security:
The public security should be strengthened so that it can carry out the basic duty represented in controlling the international border in addition to its other duties stipulated in the laws and regulations that govern its work such as issuing passports and taking care of foreign nationals. This requires units to protect land and sea borders as well as ports and airports except the border with Israel, which is the duty of the Army.
Chapter IV: The Distinguished Relations Between Lebanon and Syria:
The most prominent meaning in Lebanon's Arabism in its distinguished relationship with Syria and its inevitable, fateful link to Syria. Proceeding from its principle, relations should be based on a strategic integration concept between Lebanon and Syria because their fateful issues are one as a result of their affiliation, history, and geography, a fact that requires a high decree of coordination in various fields. We believe that Lebanon's distinguished relations with Syria should be genuine so that every understanding between the two countries can be included in clear cut bilateral agreements which will be translated into legal frameworks in both countries in order to prevent any political party from tampering with these firm principles. Thus, relations will not remain at the mercy of whims, interests, and regional and international factors.
The word "integration" in this agreement means the following:
The potentialities and capabilities of each country should complement the potentialities and capabilities of the in order to reinforce each country's situation and achieve their joint interests, on the condition that this would be defined and interpreted within the framework of the bilateral agreements mentioned in this agreement.
The areas of the distinguished relations between the two countries are wide and diversified.
1. In the field of foreign policy:
2. In the field of military relations:
The fateful struggle which Syria is waging in its efforts to establish a strategic parity with Israel as a result of well known Arab circumstances, such as the exclusion of Egypt from the arena of struggle and the emergence of Arab-Palestinian axis with the aim of confusing Syria politically, military, and in the field of security, makes it incumbent on Lebanon not to allow itself to be the gateway through which Israel can deal any blow to or threaten Syria. Therefore, the agreement must be reached to allow stationing of Syria military units in specific points in Lebanon that will be defined by joint military committees in accordance with the requirements of the Syrian and Lebanese strategic security until such time as the Lebanese Army is rebuild and rehabilitated in accordance with a national, militant ideology that will differentiate between the genuine friend and the true enemy and which will be in harmony with Lebanon's affiliation and national options. When such an army, which will have defensive tasks against the enemy, is completely build, it will take its real, strategic role in the strategic balance in the region through its role on Lebanese soil.
3. In the field of security relations:
A.Joint definition of the main threats that endanger the security, independence, and system of government in both countries.
4. In the field of economic relations:
5. In the field of education:
6. In the field of information:
7. The practical application:
Chapter V: The Mechanism of Ending the War.
The phase of ending the war in Lebanon will be limited to one year beginning with the date the new government is formed. During this year, all constitutional and legal texts pertaining to implementing the transitional reforms of this document will be approved and implemented. The mechanism of ending the war is based on the following principles and rules:
1.Immediate cease-fire with Syria's help, opening the roads and crossing points, and stopping supplies of weapons and ammunition by land, sea, and air.
2.Strengthening the role of the security committee and expending the area of its jurisdiction to include all Lebanese territory. Representatives of the internal security forces and Syrian officers will be included in the committee. Accordingly, Syrian forces will be stationed in agreed upon points, which will lead to extending moral support and military backing t the internal security forces during the phase to end the war in accordance with a comprehensive security plan which national unity government will approve.
3.Strengthening the internal security forces and general security, opening the door to recruitment, and entrusting the internal security forces with a task of safeguarding security in all Lebanese areas in order to spread the state's authority in these areas without exception.
4.Liquidating the militias and military and paramilitary organizations in their various forms and working to delete their elements in the country and in the nation's institutions.
5.Collecting weapons, with the state to buy them from both the Lebanese and non-Lebanese parties.
6.Ensuring freedom of movement for Lebanese citizens and guaranteeing their work and residence in all parts of Lebanon.
7.Finding a deep-rooted solution for the problem of the displaced Lebanese persons; recognizing the right of each displaced Lebanese person since 1975 to return to its land, house, and work; enacting the necessary laws that guarantee this right; and ensuring the necessary means to begin rebuilding. the return of displaced persons will begin within three months of the formation of the new government. This will gradually continue in light of the available security requirements and will completely end within three years.
[Dated] 28 December, 1985