Key Speeches

Introduction > Signing the treaty of brotherhood cooperation and coordination with Syria – May 22, 1991

With President Hafez Al-Asad, Damascus, 1991
Lebanon is too strong to fail and to bright to be dissolved
Mr. President,
Congratulations to both of our nations on their choices and accomplishments.
Yesterday, in Lebanon, we launched the road to peace.  And today, in Syria, we announce setting up the path to brotherhood, cooperation and coordination.
Mr. President,
Cooperation, openness, dialogue and reconciliation have impacted my political approach and they are Lebanon’s destiny.
We are a country founded on agreement and accord among its citizens and it is immune enough to coordinate and cooperate with the entire world, and foremost therein with our brethren.
As the last sixteen years have demonstrated, national reconciliation is the best solution for Lebanon.  And, the long history of political reality has proven that coordinating relations between Lebanon and Syria, with courage and honesty, based on guaranteeing communal interests, and mutual respect for the complete sovereignty of both brotherly nations is superior to maintaining the current state of affairs.  Strong men make history and lead their nations to brotherhood and prosperity.
Just like you have stood steadfast in the face of difficulties and fragmentation and vehemently refused to compromise on the unity of Lebanon and its independence, today, I work toward organizing the path of brotherhood, cooperation and coordination between both of our nations on the basis of freedom.
According to modern concepts, freedom does not mean being free of all things, but being free for the purpose of a joint and noble objective.
Today, in Lebanon, we are not seeking greatness at the expense of laxity, hunger and chaos, rather, we are looking for cooperation to protect dignity, spread peace and provide a better life for our children.
Mr. President,
Some believe that politics is based on manipulation and dishonesty.  However, we prove that politics is an act of loyalty and honesty with ourselves, our people and the future.
The twenty-first century requires collaboration and solidarity for survival and stability.  So, why not focus all of our efforts on cooperation and promotion of brotherhood so as to achieve worthwhile accomplishments and draft a practical path for transformation and rebuilding.  Individual initiatives are a start and communal cooperation allows the dream to materialize into an act that promotes brotherhood and freedom.
If Arabs and the entire world evaluate Syria’s position regarding Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, they have rejected one country’s invasion of the other, then Lebanon which has extended its hand to Syria to help it overcome the fighting that has spread among its people and on its land, understands the sense of responsibility out of which the Syrian position has formed.  As a result, we have signed the Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination whose provisions arise from the National Accord Document.  This treaty attests to Lebanon’s complete sovereignty and acknowledges Syria’s sacrifices to support Lebanon’s unity and the spread of peace therein.
How long will we be afraid and hesitant to open back up to the world, starting with our brethren?  The Lebanese people, who have accomplished a lot and held the highest scientific, cultural, political and economic positions worldwide, are open and welcoming people. They are the pioneers who formed history through their presence and will to development and promotion. We will not wait to see Europe’s progress in 1992, or ask ourselves, “where are we vis-à-vis the Latin American Alliance and its treaties with the United States?”  Or, “Where are we vis-à-vis the Gulf Country Cooperation Council?”
To doubters, I say: “Fear not, Lebanon is greater than your doubts.  By our communal will, it will be a final homeland for all Lebanese people.  It is too strong to fail and to bright to be dissolved.”
There was cooperation between us even before these provisions.  It helped us stop the bleeding and shelling, revive legitimacy, rebuild the State, allow constitutional institutions to resume their missions and responsibilities, open areas to each other, and strengthen faith in the future.  As a result, migration and refugee displacements have ceased.  Indeed, Lebanese people have started returning to their homeland in preparation for the launch of the rebuilding and reconstruction process.
This cooperation must grow with you, with the brethren and friends, so as to complete our national mission from the inside, empower the authority of the Lebanese State on all of Lebanon’s territory and regain the cherished South by applying of United Nations resolutions.
Consequently, we will have implemented the National Accord Document which was ratified by the Lebanese people and supported by Arab and international nations alike.
Mr.President,
Lebanon and Syria have sacrificed a great deal on the path from war to peace.  Together, we should rebuild and move farther along the path to peace.
Economic realities in Lebanon and Syria demand, in loyalty to our peoples, the cooperation of our nations in order to achieve decent standard of living for our people in the midst of an era reliant on large economic conglomerations for development and growth.  We are committed to free trade and are working to develop it further.
Cooperation between the two means each party is committed to help the other.  Today, as Lebanon is making progress over war, debris and rubble, it is looking forward to coordinating with Syria to maintain both nations’ security, strengthen internal security for both nations and repel any urgent external aggression.
Lebanon is looking forward to the future.
We are in the process of establishing new traditions that practically define the meaning of brotherhood and cooperation in the face of major challenges.
There lies the challenge.
Just as we successfully worked together to stop the war, I am sure we will succeed in teaching future generations the principles of openness and starting a fresh page in our history that would not have existed if our leaders in both countries had thwarted it since 1920.  It is time for us to finalize solid and sound bases that support internal security and focus on exercising our leadership role within the Arab family and the world so as to contribute to strengthening international peace based on truth and justice.
We are approaching a new era, with new transformations, agendas and ambition.  We can keep up with it or fall behind.  Lebanon has always been a pioneer in modernism.  At this historical moment, it would please me to no end to see both of our nations be true to both of our brave people’s expectations, and raise the flags of both Lebanon and Syria high in brotherhood and friendship.

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