12.12.2008

Lebanon Gains Recognition from Syria Formalizing Independence

Lebanon and Syria formally reached an agreement to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time since independence.

Finally, Lebanon could formally gain the recognition of its existence as an independent sovereign country from Syria for the first time in Lebanon's history. This, actually, constitutes a historic moment for Lebanon.

From the beginning of independence, Syria considered many parts of Lebanon as deducted parts of its territory, not to mention the Lebanese suspicion that Syria does not recognize Lebanon as independent country, and intends to 'regain' its authority over it. In this regard, Lebanon always cites the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries since independence as an indicator of this thinking.

Furthermore, the Syrian military presence in Lebanon for about 30 years during and after the Lebanese civil war, including about 15 years of Syrian regime's dominance over Lebanon after the Gulf War II and following the Lebanese Taef Accord ending the civil war, whereas the Syrian security apparatus ran the Lebanese various affairs directly or indirectly at this stage. This dominance was depending on American implicit mandate to the Syrian regime after the Gulf War II.

Now, it is a new phase in the Middle East with a new reality in the region shaping new relations and rules affecting the geopolitics of the region. It is also an essential part of the long-awaited new Middle East.

This recognition constitutes a historic change in the Syrian behavior toward Lebanon, especially, current regime's behavior. This change, in my opinion, would not have been possible without the long struggle of the Lebanese independence government, PM Sanioura's first government formed after the first free democratic elections following the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, which ended the Syrian administration of Lebanon.

This government put the goal of realizing the full independence and securing the full sovereignty of Lebanon, and challenged all the obstacles, which included every malicious and destructive means from intimidation to assassinations and use of political violence. With the international support, finally, it achieved this goal of independence and sovereignty under the sole and exclusive authority of the democratically elected government.

Now, Lebanon is harvesting the results of this government's struggle and achievements, which could enforce all concerned parties to accept the fact of Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and democracy.

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