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Lebanon’s Baabda Declaration, a national necessity

The Baabda Declaration constitutes an important document that remains a national requirement

Nayla Tueni

Published: Updated:

Former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud’s recent statements that the 2012 Baabda Declaration, which had underscored Lebanon’s neutrality with regard to the events in the Middle East region, is “tantamount to surrender and treachery against the people, army and Resistance and a denial of victories and achievements all under the slogan of [the policy] of dissociation” do not matter much and are, in my view, political maliciousness.

If we take a look at the Baabda Declaration, we would realize that its controversial clauses constitute a solution to the ever-plaguing crises which Lebanon is currently suffering

Nayla Tueni

The Baabda Declaration constitutes an important document that remains a national requirement. Domestic parties must liberate themselves from their commitment to foreign parties and must work on the basis of national motivations and thus not link their activity and fate to foreign parties who only seek to achieve their aims and use Lebanese parties as mere chess pieces.

If we take a look at the Baabda Declaration, which was approved in June 2012, we’d realize that its controversial clauses - or rather the items which later became a topic of controversy - constitute a solution to the ever-plaguing crises which Lebanon is currently suffering.

Harboring Lebanon

Item 12 of the declaration stipulated ridding Lebanon of the policy of axes and regional and international struggles and harboring it from the negative repercussions of regional crises and disturbances out of concern for (Lebanon’s) higher interest, national unity and civil peace and (for the sake of) keeping up the duty of commitment to international legitimacy, Arab consensus and the rightful Palestinian cause, including the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their land and not naturalizing them.

Item 13 of the document stipulates keenness to control the situation along the Syrian-Lebanese borders, to prohibit the establishment of a buffer zone inside Lebanon and the usage of Lebanon as a headquarters or a passage to smuggle weapons and fighters and to maintain the right of (voicing) humanitarian solidarity and the right of political and media expression as guaranteed by the constitution and law.

Surrender and submission?

Why object to these items and how are they tantamount to surrender and submission? The right of resistance is legitimate to all Lebanese people inside any of their occupied lands but not inside Syrian cities and towns. Not allowing the establishing of a buffer zone is an urgent demand that aims to prevent having a border strip like what happened in south Lebanon during the era of Israeli and Palestinian occupation of it. As for neutralizing Lebanon, whenever possible, then that’s the cure for a relatively close country that lives on via the combination of different worlds in order to survive. Lebanon has suffered several times particularly whenever it tried to take sides or engage in political games.

Lebanon’s higher interest calls for returning to the Baabda Declaration regardless of whether political parties agree or disagree with former President Michel Suleiman as the declaration is not his property but the property of the Lebanese people who had hoped that decisions made at national dialogue sessions would constitute a common ground that decreases tensions and prevents the worsening of the situation.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on June 25, 2015.

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Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni

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