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Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri addressed the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday, stating Lebanon’s commitment to peace, diversity and openness.

– Since the international community’s decision to set 2001 as the year of inter-cultural dialogue until this day, Lebanon has actively sought to contribute to that dialogue through its unique historical experience.

– Lebanon should be noted for its positions, efforts and ties to the UN, which is interested in [securing] its freedom, sovereignty and stability. Lebanon should also be noted for its respect for the international legitimacy and decisions.

– Everyone knows the hardships our country and people have endured. But we still want to live in one country, which is enriched by its diversity and openness. [Lebanon is also enriched by its] its roots in the Arab world and its interactions with the world, as well as the Christian-Muslim cooperation [we employ in building] our future.

– Dialogue starts by recognizing other’s rights, including the demarcation of permanent international borders and the respect of cultural diversity in the world.

– The United Nations Charter is what brings us together to achieve peace and security in the world.

– Equal-power sharing between Christians and Muslims is what makes Lebanon a unique center for dialogue between different cultures.

– We envisage a dialogue based on the diversity of cultures and not a dialogue based on power.

– The right to dialogue is not constrained by the relations of powerful states, but rather it is a contribution to change in the interest of all participants.

– Dialogue and diplomacy go hand in hand and are based on international law, far from the use of force. However, this confirmation does not wipe away what is taking place in reality.

– Dialogue will not be successful if intentions are different than the stated objectives.

– The continuation of abuse and oppression jeopardizes the whole dialogue process.

– How can the dialogue process succeed at a time when Israel still occupies Palestinian and Arab territories, violates Palestinians’ national and human rights – especially [the Palestinian] right of return – and denies Palestinians the right to form an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital.

– To hold successful dialogue, justice and the respect for international law must prevail.

– Jerusalem is the city of peace, where different faiths meet.

– Reaching a just and permanent peace in [the Middle East] is what the [2002] Arab Peace Initiative has called for, that is to have a real rapprochement between the West and the Arab [world].

– I want to reassure the international community [Lebanon’s] commitment to universal moral values, which are part of the United Nations Charter, in order to curb violence and to strengthen dialogue between different cultures.

Now Lebanon

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