ArDO: Yes we want Lebanon to be the Switzerland of the East and Beirut the Paris of the East


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While a UN Resolution is Brewing at the Security Council

Lebanese Americans Moving Forward In New York

                       ANIS KARAM ON CNN WEDNESDAY AT 10:30 AM

 Lebanese American activist Anis Karam will be on CNN International Wednesday at 10:30 AM (US EST) to discuss the Lebanese and Mideast participation in the Republican Convention in New York. Dr Karam, representing the American Lebanese Coalition (ALC) at the Convention will talk about President Bush's initiative for Democracy and Human Rights in the Greater Middle East. Karam, chairman for information with the Diaspora-based World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU).

                    KARAM ON AL HURRA WEDNESDAY AT 8 PM

 Dr Karam, who also leads the Mideast American delegation at the New York RNC will appear on al Hurra TV at 8 PM Wednesday and 12 AM Thursday Beirut time.

                  Karam appeared on al Jazeera today Tuesday

 It is to note that Karam was interviewed on al Jazeera today Tuesday at 5 PM from the Convention. The ALC representative said "Mideast and Arab Americans support the spread of Human Rights and Democracy in the Middle East. They stand by America in its struggle against Terrorism. Our priority, let it be known, is to preserve America's national security."

 ALC representative Karam with President George Bush (archives)


 Delegate Karam met with US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and US Congressman Darell Issa at the Convention. The discussions concentrated on the "US and international efforts to withdraw Syria from Lebanon," and on the "deplorable behavior of Syria regarding the takeover of Lebanon's constitutional process." Secretary Abraham said he is working with the White House on securing a fast UN based resolution in that regard. Congressman Issa said "there are last minutes attempts to stop the constitutional collapse in Lebanon, but an international action is now inevitable."

Dr Karam (ALC-WLCU) and Adel Abu Sleiman (ALC Treasurer), in the center, surrounded by Lebanese American activists in Washington at an event attended by President Bush. (Archives)


   U.S. Wants Syria to Withdraw From Lebanon

.c The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The United States is calling for the immediate withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, according to a a draft resolution circulated in the U.N. Security Council late Tuesday.

The new measure also offers support for elections under the current Lebanese constitution, which would rule out a second term for pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud.

The United States decided to press for a resolution - with! the support of France, Lebanon's former colonial ruler - after what many saw as a Syrian-engineered move to change the constitution to extend Lahoud's term.

The resolution calls on the council ``to consider additional measures,'' which are not specified, if the Syrians and Lebanese don't comply.

Lebanon accused the United States and France Tuesday of trying to ``blackmail'' it and Syria, and create trouble between Beirut and Damascus.

U.S. deputy ambassador Anne Patterson said the United States wants the Security Council to vote on the draft resolution ``hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday.'' But the draft is almost certain to face opposition from Algeria, the only Arab nation on the council, and probably from Russia and China, which traditionally oppose council interference in a country's internal affairs.

In Washington, the Bush administration sharply criticized Syria for meddling in Lebanon's politics, and a senior U.S. diplomat was likely to g! o to Damascus for high-level talks.

But Lebanese Foreign Minister Jean Obeid said Lebanese-Syrian relations are a matter for both countries to decide. He said Lebanon ``completely separates between dealing with our internal affairs and international attempts at blackmail with the aim of fomenting a dispute between us and our brothers (in Syria).''

Syria's involvement in Lebanon dates back to 1976, when it sent its troops to Lebanon to help quell a year-old civil war that raged on for another 14 years. The West tolerated its control and even credited Syria with securing stability.

But since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Western nations have been calling for democracy to take hold in the Arab world as a way to fight extremism - and President Bush's administration has repeatedly accused Syria of sponsoring terrorism.

The draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, calls for ``the strict respect of Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial i! ntegrity, unity and political independence.''

It ``demands that Syrian forces withdraw without delay from Lebanon'' and declares the Security Council's ``support for a free and fair electoral process in Lebanon's upcoming presidential election conducted according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence.''

The Lebanese Cabinet last week approved an amendment to the constitution to allow Lahoud to stay in power three more years.

Parliament, instead of voting for a new president for the next six years, will have to vote on an extension to Lahoud's term, which expires Nov. 24. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called late Tuesday for a meeting of the 128-member legislature on Friday to amend the constitution to extend Lahoud's term.

The draft resolution asks Secretary-General Kofi Annan to report on implementation within 30 days. It was not drafted under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, so military action would ! not be an option.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said in a letter to the Security Council that U.N. action would be ``a dangerous precedent.''   

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