• Short Summary

    Signs are few of any reconciliation in Lebanon's crisis. The Government appears to have effectively?

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    TRANSCRIPT: "Let us be frank and candid. Our admiration for President Nasser knows no bounds. But beyond that we are not prepared to go. The independence of Lebanon is so clear and near to our hearts that it takes the place of a religious creed. On no account and for no earthly reason shall we part with it.

    "We Lebanese have been traders since times immemorial. And the greatest enemy of trade is custom barriers, or friction and unjustified, and uncalled for antagonisms with neighbours. We must live under terms of friendships and brotherly relations with our immediate neighbour Syria, which forms the northern region of the UAR. These friendly and brotherly relations which are vital for our way existence have for sometime now been undermined by the foolish and stupid moves of our rulers. These moves have recently reached the worst stage possible under the personal direction of the head of the State. Syrians living in Lebanon have been treated in the worst inhuman manner imaginable. We think we are entitled to ask why these acts of inhuman persecutions have been committed. What offence have those poor people committed? Indeed, why? The only possible answer is that our rulers wish to create cause for friction in order that retaliatory acts might be done and then our rulers would declare it, to the world that there is a threat no longer potential but actual to our independence and then invite the big western Powers to intervene. The strongest ties bind us to the Syrians -- language, blood and culture, plus our economic, financial, and trade interests. Yet all these are ignored for their own personal ends by our rulers.

    For the peace of Lebanon and the preservation of its integrity and independence, three persons must resign office. These are President Chamoun, Prime Minister Solh and Foreign Minister Malek. The vanity of our President knows no limit. He appears to think without Chamoun there will be no Lebanon. It is a pity if we have come to that. Yet it is our unwritten law that the President of the Republic is a Maronite Christian. The President seems to imply that he has no faith in any Maronite and trusts none, not even the head of the Maronite church. Vanity and more vanity. As for Prime Minister Solh, well I can only say I am sorry for him. He is an old inoffensive man of nearly eighty and it seems he wishes to die in office, perhaps that he may have a State funeral?

    "There remains Foreign Minister Malek. Here is a man whose education and training have fitted him to be a teacher. An irony of fate has made him lose his way home and he became a politician. If Lebanon was a country of angels and fallen angels then Malek is the fallen angel of our times. Poor man: He is too good for our hectic life. He should lead a life of seclusion to await a better hereafter. He talks as if he were State Secretary Dulles and tries to make his audience think the U.S. with all its might is at his back and call. Yet he is our own Foreign Minister by the will of our President.

    "It should be understood and again in the clearest terms that the purpose of the present rising is not a coup d'etat. The people are not in arms against the Republican regime nor parliamentary system. Nor are they up in arms that Lebanon may be merged in the UAR. Actually the rising is against a corrupt group who have turned our republican regime and parliamentary system into a mockery.

    "Our movement derives its impetus and force from within the Lebanon and nowhere else. We intend to preserve our liberty and freedom. Under no circumstance shall we abandon them. Any accusation to the contrary should be treated with the contempt it deserves."


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Signs are few of any reconciliation in Lebanon's crisis. The Government appears to have effectively widened the gap separating it, from the Opposition by agreeing to submit a complaint to the Security Council about alleged interference by the United Arab Republic in Lebanon's internal affairs.

    In an otherwise inconclusive Press conference in Beirut on the evening of May 21st President Chamoun repeated earlier Government allegations about the massive interference of the UAR in the internal affairs of the Lebanon......
    On May 22nd Saeb Salem, President of the National Organization, invited the Press along to hear the Opposition's reply to President Chamoun's statement the day before.......

    Saeb Salam continued:
    Saeb Salam then concluded with these words.

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