March14 proposes a plan to save Lebanon

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Following the March 14 meeting at Bristol Hotel on Sunday , General Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soueid told the press that the gathering, was aimed at guaranteeing the well-being of all Lebanese, despite their political and sectarian differences.

“Protecting Lebanon is a national, Arab and international responsibility,” he said.

Regionally, Lebanon is threatened by Israel, according to Soueid. Israel refuses to work towards peace and continues to build settlements, he added. He also cited Iran’s nuclear program as a danger to the country and region.

“We want to see the country united and free, fully Lebanese and fully Arab,” Soueid added.

Despite any mistakes that were made, the Cedar Revolution will continue until its goals are achieved, Soueid said.

Soueid introduced a seven-point plan to “preserve the safety of the Lebanese people,” and called on the Lebanese to develop and elaborate on it.

The following are the seven points of the March 14 alliance’s plan:

1. Everyone should be committed to the decisions reached in the national dialogue, and dedicated to establishing normal relations with Syria. The national defense strategy is the only remaining issue that needs to be discussed in the national dialogue. For the sake of the state’s well-being, all parties should cooperate in the dialogue.

2. Internal disagreement is one thing, but facing occupation is another. Any Israeli attack on any part of Lebanon is an attack on the entire country – and any attack will be met by a unified stance.

3. Political parties should commit to the notion that national defense is the responsibility of the Lebanese state, its army and institutions.

4. Lebanon should not be used to set off war in the region, under any circumstance.

5. The Lebanese army is solely responsible for retaliating against any Israeli attack, and will notify the cabinet under such circumstances. Only the government has the right to assess the situation and take steps accordingly.

6. The March 14 alliance requests the government appeal to the Arab League to fulfill its responsibility to protect Lebanon on the basis of Arab solidarity. The Arab League should be included in the [national dialogue] discussions on creating a national defense strategy for Lebanon.

7. The March 14 alliance calls on the Lebanese state to solicit the international community for help in ensuring the strict implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure the effective execution of Resolution 1701.

The March 14 alliance also announced its support for the following:

A) Creating a Lebanese civil society to ensure a “societal safety net.”

B) Insisting that Arab countries support Lebanon and protect Arab co-existence which is symbolized in the country. Also, an effort to move away from abusing ideology, in order to serve a certain state or political party.

C) Requesting that foreign countries assist in presenting Lebanon as a country that can play a vital role in the region and world through the model of unique citizens, and as a show of support for the Arab peace initiative, world peace, stability, and the settlement of sectarian disputes.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri did not attend Sunday’s March 14 alliance meeting, which fell on the fifth anniversary of the group’s formation, because he is on an official trip to Germany. Former president Amin Gemayel and leader of the Phalange party did not also attend. Now Lebanon