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Lebanon: mass rally against U.N. Resolution 1559

Lebanon has witnessed a mass demonstration in the capital Beirut on Tuesday, the likes of which has not been seen in many years.

It has been reported that a million people from all around the country arrived in Beirut to protest against U.N. Resolution 1559.

The resolution was passed on September 5, and called on Syria to evacuate its military forces from Lebanon, and not to interfere with Lebanon’s internal political affairs [read the full text of the resolution at the bottom of this report].

The Lebanese government itself took part in the preparations for this massive event, which was launched under the title “Allegiance to Syria”. Some of the government’s ministers joined the demonstration, alongside many MPs and other politicians.

Buses and trucks were used to transfer thousands of people from all around Lebanon. The movement of cars was banned in a large area of the capital when the demonstration began at midday.

Before the event began, two important meetings took place. Both the Hizbullah terror organization and the National Socialist Syrian party met with the Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Mar Na’srallah Butrus ‘Safir. Sources from within the delegations told the Lebanese daily A-Nahar that the intention of the visit was to assure the Cardinal that the demonstrations is not in any way aimed against any internal group, it is only meant to express the people’s protest against Resolution 1559. The visit also aimed at achieving national unity, said the sources.

U.N. Resolution 1559

“The Security Council,

“Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) of 19 March 1978, resolution 520 (1982) of 17 September 1982, and resolution 1553 (2004) of 29 July 2004 as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21),

“Reiterating its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally territorially recognized borders,

“Noting the determination of Lebanon to ensure the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon,

“Gravely concerned at the continued presence of armed militias in Lebanon, which prevent the Lebanese government from exercising its full sovereignty over all Lebanese territory,

“Reaffirming the importance of the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory,

“Mindful of the upcoming Lebanese presidential elections and underlining the importance of free and fair elections according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence,

“1. Reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon;

“2. Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon;

“3. Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias;

“4. Supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory;

“5. Declares its support for a free and fair electoral process in Lebanon’s upcoming presidential election conducted according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence;

“6. Calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully and urgently with the Security Council for the full implementation of this and all relevant resolutions concerning the restoration of the territorial integrity, full sovereignty, and political independence of Lebanon;

“7. Requests that the Secretary-General report to the Security Council within thirty days on the implementation by the parties of this resolution and decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”