Socialist International focuses attention on the situation in Lebanon at a special meeting

4 April 2005

The Socialist International held a special one-day meeting of its Mediterranean Committee in Beiteddine, Lebanon, on 4 April 2005, to examine current developments regarding that country.

Walid Jumblatt, Leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, PSP, headed the delegation of his party, a member of the Socialist International, which hosted the meeting in which a broad and strong representation of all the political forces in the opposition were also invited to participate. Representatives of Democratic Renewal, Movement of the Democratic Left, Mustaqbal, Kataeb, Kornet Chehwan, Lebanese Forces, Free Patriotic Movement, National Block, Democratic Gathering and a representative of the Independents, were among the Lebanese guests taking part alongside the PSP in the discussions.

The meeting was opened with contributions by the Socialist International Secretary General, Luis Ayala, Walid Jumblatt, Leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, PSP, and Trinidad Jiménez of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, PSOE, Chair of the Committee, who also chaired the proceedings.

Lebanese guests and the numerous SI member parties participating (list of participants) held an open and detailed discussion which covered all the main issues affecting Lebanon, reaching broad consensus and agreement. Unanimous and strong condemnation of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and all those murdered together with him by the criminal bomb attack on 14 February was shared by all participants, as was the backing of the Committee members for the demands of the Lebanese people to establish the truth behind those crimes, and their support for all the initiatives taken by the international community to this end.

The discussions equally underlined the full solidarity of the Socialist International with the Lebanese people, with the democratic forces of the country and with the Progressive Socialist Party, and in particular with their will to reaffirm democracy, the sovereignty and independence of their country and to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the forthcoming month of May, as scheduled in accordance with the country’s Constitution.

The Committee agreed to continue to pay close attention to the situation affecting Lebanon, to the implementation of the withdrawal of Syrian forces in accordance with the Taef Agreements and international legality and to the sending of a Socialist International observer delegation to the May elections. Finally, the Committee expressed its confidence in the capacity of the Lebanese political forces to strengthen the role of the political parties and to develop a situation of normality in the political life of the country, leaving behind all use of violence.

Declaration reflecting all these areas of agreement was unanimously approved by the meeting.