More than thirty Lebanese deputies issued an appeal on Friday, ahead of the Arab and Muslim summits scheduled in Riyadh, urging Arab leaders to "help Lebanon face attempts to drag it into the war" between Hamas and Israel.
The statement emphasizes that Lebanon sits "at the heart of the crisis in the region" and that the Lebanese people "fear the escalation of the war could affect their country." They express concern of the Lebanese state's decision-making process "being sullied by an illegitimate armed force serving a regional axis, jeopardizing strategic interests, security, and stability." The sentiment is that the Lebanese reject being forcibly drawn into a total war.
The parliamentarians believe that the summit, with its leverage in the region, is capable of extracting Lebanon from this situation and liberating it from unwanted influence.
The lawmakers urge Arab leaders to engage in all international arenas, especially at the United Nations and the Security Council, for the full implementation of Resolution 1701. This resolution, adopted on Aug. 11, 2006, in response to the war between Israel and Hezbollah, aims to end hostilities, establish a ceasefire, and create conditions for lasting peace in the region.
They categorically condemn the ongoing Israeli war against Gaza, where the Palestinian people are victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The MPs call for immediate intervention not only to organize a humanitarian truce or cease-fire but to initiate a political process based on the Arab Peace Initiative established at the Beirut Summit in 2002, adopting the two-state solution.
The deputies conclude by stating that protecting Lebanon requires stabilizing the institutions established by the Taef Agreement, and electing a President of the Republic. Lebanon has been without a president since the end of Michel Aoun's mandate over a year ago.
Among the signatory deputies are George Adwan, Sami Gemayel, Michel Moawad, Marc Daou, Michel Doueihy, Fouad Makhzoumi, Ghassan Hasbani, George Okaïs, Nadim Gemayel, Ashraf Rifi, Élias Hankash, Sethrida Geagea, and Melhem Riashi.
This article was originally published in French in L'Orient-Le Jour. Translation by Amelia Hankins.