Launch of "Lebanese National Dialogue" and the Need for Success

  • 5 November 2008

The launch of the second session of Lebanese National Dialogue today offers an important opportunity for reaching a national agreement and for restoring stability in a country which has suffered a lot from internal conflicts that have hampered development and stability that had led to an intense civil war in the past, threatening its national unity and causing devastating consequences. Lebanese people are still suffering the consequences of the civil war and are keen on finding solutions for the same. The meeting of the second session takes place amidst encouraging signs and raised hopes of national agreement due to several important developments including the commencement of dialogue and the moderate tone of various media outlets belonging to various parties in keeping with an agreement to this effect. In fact, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman enumerated these factors in a recent Cabinet meeting in the presence of Prime Minister Fuoad Al-Seniora. The meeting recently held between leader of the Future Movement Saad Al-Hariri and the Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is an important indication of the improvement in the situation. These scenarios positively reflect the economic and financial situation in Lebanon despite the international financial crisis which obliges all political forces to continue making efforts for deployment in order to develop Lebanon and surpass the economic challenges Lebanese economy faced due to the political crisis that Lebanon witnessed since 2005.

All political parties would have to be motivated by a strong zeal to make the dialogue successful, a political will that rises above all narrow interests and extends to cover national interests comprehensively. This could only come about through frank and open discussion and the bringing of all contentious issues on the negotiating table in a democratic way, without violating peace and stability of the country. Lebanon has to scuttle the plans of some external forces that seek to undermine its stability and security. The busting of a 20-year-old Israeli spy network working for Mossad is a clear example of the presence of this threat.

Undoubtedly, national agreement in Lebanon has become an important and necessary development, and the time is not suitable to squabble over the minor details, nor the substance of some issues. There are several internal and external challenges that underscore the importance for all Lebanese political forces to forge together the political leadership of Lebanon, the Lebanese people and its various sects for realizing peace and stability in Lebanon. The success of the dialogue would pave the way for putting an end to all the factors that stir up sectarian conflict and adversely affect Lebanon. In addition, recent developments taking place in the Middle East region would directly affect Lebanon and this makes the internal dialogue process all the more important to safeguard Lebanon’s forces and their capacity to face challenges.