Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shabaa Farms to become officially Lebanese: Prisoners

Shabaa Farms is to be officially ceded to Lebanon, Syria's foreign minister said. This is indeed important. It means Israel can now withdraw from the territory, which will take the issue away from Hizbullah, undermining its rational for maintaining an independent militia. Whether Israel will do this without a formal peace treaty with Lebanon remains to be seen. There was talk within Israel of doing this earlier in the year. It also means that a major issue that has kept Syria and Lebanon from developing normal relations has been resolved. There has also been progress on solving the problem of Lebanese prisoners being held in Syria, as well as those who have gone missing. The joint Syro-Lebanese committee slated to resolve these questions has begun to meet.

Syria Finalizes Shabaa's Lebanese Identity, Starting a 'New Page' with Lebanon

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa has declared in an address at the Euro-Med summit in Barcelona that the Shabaa Farms were Lebanese and earlier spoke of a new chapter in relations with Lebanon after the Syrian evacuation.
Sharaa's declaration came in the wake of a conference he held with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Saniora on the sidelines of the summit after which Saniora told reporters that Sharaa will affirm Shabaa's Lebanese identity in his speech.

Saniora indicated the demarcation of the Lebanese Syrian border would produce a written document that the Shabaa pocket at the foothills of Mount Hermon was Lebanese, a turning-point which would help give Lebanon the absolute right to fight for its liberation from Israeli occupation.

In announcing the new phase in Lebanese-Syrian relations Sharaa said "we have embarked upon a new phase in our relations." "We want to open a new page," he said, adding that Syria "wants to see security and stability in Lebanon."

Saniora agreed progress had been made. "We want to have healthy and strong relations between the two countries," he said. "I had satisfactory talks with Saniora and President Assad will be very happy when I brief him about the talks" Sharaa added.

He made the remark in response to a question whether Assad would retract his insult to Saniora by recently calling him a 'slave.' "Syria is committed to collaborating with the international commission of investigation and resolved to uncover the truth behind the assassination, as both Syria and Lebanon, as neighboring and independent peoples, have a major interest in doing so," he said.

Sharaa added that both countries were allies "whose common interests are unlimited." Sharaa stressed that Damascus stood firm with its insistence on "a total Israeli withdrawal to the frontiers of June 4, 1967, including the Golan Heights and the Shabaa Farms, and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Arab Jerusalem as its capital."(AFP)
[end]

Naharnet: 11/28/05
Damascus and Beirut have opened a new phase of cooperation to determine the fate of hundreds of Lebanese missing or jailed in Syria during three decades of Syrian tutelage over Lebanon. A Lebanese-Syrian committee, charged with resolving the mystery that has become a major source of friction between the two neighboring
countries, held a three-hour meeting on the border point of Jdeidat Yabous Saturday, An Nahar reported.

The Lebanese delegation provided a detailed list of those missing and believed imprisoned in Syria, An Nahar reported Sunday. It did not provide details, but according to the families of the missing, there are more than 500 Lebanese unaccounted for since their arrest by Syrian security forces or disappearance in Syrian-held territory. The newspaper said the meeting was "constructive."

8 Comments:

At 11/29/2005 05:12:00 AM, Blogger raf* said...

dear josh-

here's a way to solve the golan issue:

syria just cedes the golan to lebanon. the israelis will then have to withdraw. and afterwards, lebanon just cedes the golan to syria.

why again did between 1967 & 1982 nobody claim the shebaa farms as "lebanese land occupied by israel"???

cheers,

--raf*

 
At 11/29/2005 05:57:00 AM, Blogger carine said...

raf-- because nobody cared enough. they're pretty insignificant in and of themselves (except, of course, for their unfortunate inhabitants).

the shebaa farms are lebanese land that was occupied by syria in 1967. but people only started making a fuss about the territory once it served a strategic function (as a pretext for continued resistance against israel). i have an old blog entry on this topic (with a lot more specifics) if you or anyone else is curious.

i really, really hope this whole thing comes to something. seems in the best interests of all involved.

 
At 11/29/2005 06:19:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

This is a smart move; i was quiet pissed when i heard that the final border of the farms were going to be postponed. Playing hardball with the Lebanese over the Shebaa farms would have been a cheap move by Damascus, especially after they had publicly said it was Lebanese for many years already. So this declaration was definitely the right thing to do.

 
At 11/29/2005 01:06:00 PM, Blogger JoseyWales said...

Shabaa Farms is to be officially ceded to Lebanon,

What do you mean "ceded"??? Is that the legal technical term here?

Who is doing the "ceding" (giving)? If Syria "cedes", then they were and are until the "ceding" Syrian territory.

I don't know the answer, but I do know that Leb and Syr documents have shown the Shebaa farms (not Shebaa village) to be on the Syrian side of the border (including Lebanese army maps from 1966, i.e. before 1967 war).

Guy above is right. Cede the Golan to Leb, then Leb can re-cede it.

And raf no one made a fuss before cuz you know, arab killing arab, arab invading arab, its' OK, we're all brothers.

 
At 11/29/2005 07:42:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

We are used to these oral declarations; let us see if these declarations are going to remain oral or if SYria is going to officially notify the UN

 
At 5/15/2007 01:00:00 PM, Blogger . said...

Ace

 
At 6/04/2007 03:10:00 PM, Blogger Karl said...

Great info, thanks.

Karl

 
At 6/11/2007 09:11:00 AM, Blogger . said...

gro├če Informationen, Dank.

 

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