Sunday, March 16, 2008

Syria and Lebanon: Let's Talk Normal

Syria and Lebanon have to be two of the closest countries in the world. But they do not have diplomatic relations, yet.
There is so much interdependence and connections between the two. This interdependence between the two would have made them good neighbors were it not for the behavior and attitude of the Syrian regime.
The two peoples get along well. They have extensive relations, family and business. But unfortunately for both countries, the Syrian regime does not accept, more accurately “swallow,” the fact that Lebanon is an independent country- with a flag and all the other symbols of statehood.
The Syrian regime thinks of Lebanon as a province of Syria rather than as a modern nation-state. For some reason the statehood of Lebanon is a reality that is not sinking in the minds of the ruling clique of Damascus.
Apologists for this denial of reality resort to a selective and superficial reading of history and how the West “divided us.” The historical record does not settle this matter. Anyway, it does not matter what historically existed in the nature of relationship between the two- that line of thinking would threaten many states that were born from the breakup of preceding political incarnations. The fact is that Lebanon is a state that is a member of the Arab League and the UN. It has a right to exist, just like all the other Arab states have the right to exist. Syria has a seat in the UN and Arab League, Lebanon too has the same.
The Arab League and the international community should pressure Syria to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon. Diplomatic relations are the normal relations between independent countries.

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