Importance of Capitalizing on the Positive Spirit in Lebanon

  • 20 July 2008

Positive signs are noticeable on the Lebanese political scene after the “Doha Agreement” that seems to have resolved a protracted phase of crisis and tension. Prominent among these is the national accord and celebration witnessed on the release of Lebanese detainees from the Israeli prisons, which was widely hailed as a national victory. All political parties and forces greeted the return of the erstwhile prisoners and were unanimous in holding it as an achievement for the nation, its government and its people. The development was not viewed as victory for any specific party or force. It is important to make use of this positive approach demonstrated by all parties in Lebanon and there is a need to build upon it to promote Lebanese national dialogue. The people of Lebanon are waiting for a joint ministerial agreement, a move that would set the agenda for the future and it is hoped that it would be completed soon. This would herald positive changes in Lebanon and promote the highly anticipated national dialogue recommended by the Doha Agreement. However, national dialogue would have to deal with several tricky issues which would test of the resolve of the collective will of Lebanese parties.

In spite of the positive developments witnessed in Lebanon since the Doha Agreement, the enormity of the challenges lying ahead cannot be underestimated. Therefore, the country should make the most of the encouraging developments and invest in them because it would not be easy to tackle bigger issues that lie ahead and would need another demonstration of that patriotic spirit that was palpable at the time of the prisoners' release. Lebanon's people should feel that a new Lebanon is coming into existence, a country that has the will to make progress and learn its lessons.

Lebanon has suffered a lot on various levels due to its political crises. It is time for it to turn a new page. Let the day of the prisoners' return be a precursor of a welcome new change and a harbinger of hope for a better future.