Arab Support for Lebanon is Vital and Necessary

  • 23 May 2007

Lebanon is currently passing through a very dangerous phase after an explosive confrontation between the Lebanese Army and the Fatah Al-Islam organization, after a long period of peace despite the complications and the escalation of the political crisis in the country.
Some observers fear that these developments may be the beginning of even worse things to follow, in light of the complex Lebanese situation now. Undoubtedly, the country has entered a period of instability and tensions since the murder of former Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. The resultant fears have underscored the necessity of helping the Lebanese government to overcome the current crisis. On this point, the Arab League yesterday did well to ask member countries to offer assistance and military equipment to the Lebanese Army and security forces. The Arab League held an urgent meeting and issued a statement that demanded from Arab countries to continue their military support to Lebanon for strengthening security conditions in the country.

Undoubtedly, this quick response by the Arab League has many implications for the dangerous developments witnessed in Lebanon, in the wake of the conflict that erupted between the Lebanese Army and the Fatah Al-Islam organization. This reflects the League’s positive response to the crisis, which has the potential of spiraling out of control very fast. In this context, the League did well in seeking the continuation of efforts by the Lebanese government to cooperate with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) representatives and other Palestinian factions involved in the crisis, to safeguard the lives of innocent Lebanese and Palestinians inside the camps. What has been endeavored is a wise solution and not a desperate one to solve this crisis.

Indubitably, there is need to observe the directive of the Arab League to extend respect and support to the Lebanese Army. It is expected that specific mechanisms are devised to practically extend this support, which could empower the army and other security forces in carrying out their duty of maintaining stability.

This crisis has once again underlined the importance of activating the Arab role in addressing Lebanon’s crisis and the importance of the agreement of all parties in Lebanon, because the current standoff between the “March 14 forces” and the opposition could have dangerous consequences, which would undermine efforts at bringing stability to the country.