Lebanon's History

The Taif Accords (October 22, 1994)

On October 22 1989 the Lebanese National Assembly meeting in Taif Saudi Arabia endorsed an accord for national reconciliation.

The Taif accord restructured the political system in Lebanon by transferring power away from the traditionally Maronite presidency to a Cabinet divided equally between Muslims and Christians.

The Taif accord also maps out a security plan for extending government sovereignty over all Lebanese territory. The accord calls for disbanding militias and strengthening of Lebanese government forces. It also calls for a withdrawal of Syrian forces inside Lebanon and the establishment of a joint Syrian-Lebanese mechanism for making future decisions about the positioning and functions of the Syrian troops. The accord contains a Syria-Lebanese security agreement and calls for taking steps to bring about a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanese territory. The security-related parts of the accord are here translated.

The accord was rejected by General Michel Aoun but was accepted by other Maronite leaders. While Syria voiced support for the accord some Syrian-backed militia leaders such as Walid Jumblatt and Nabi Berri expressed disappointment over the accord which they considered superficial and overly favorable to the Sunni Muslim minority.

The following are excerpts from the Taif Accords Oct. 22 1989

PART II: IMPOSING THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE LEBANESE GOVERNMENT OVER ALL LEBANESE LAND

Given the agreement among the Lebanese parties on the existence of a strong and able state based on national reconciliation the national accord government shall outline a detailed security plan for a one-year period whose aim shall be: the gradual extension of the sovereignty of the Lebanese government over all Lebanese lands through the State's intrinsic resources. The general elements of the plan are as follows:

1. Declaration of the disbanding of the Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the transfer of weapons in their possession to the Lebanese government within six months of the rectification of the document of national reconciliation the election of a president the establishment of a national accord government and the constitutional ratification of the political reforms.

2. The strengthening of the internal security forces through the following measures:

a. The opening of recruitment to all people of Lebanon without exception the training of recruits and their dispersal among the district units. Concurrently they will undergo regular and organized courses.

b. The strengthening of the security apparatus in order to control border entries and exits by air sea and land.

3. The strengthening of the armed forces

a. The major task of the armed forces is to defend the motherland and when necessary to maintain public order when threatened when the internal security forces are unable to handle the situation alone.

b. The armed forces shall be used to help the internal security forces in maintaining security in circumstances to be decided by the government.

c. The armed forces shall be united trained and drilled to enable them to bear national responsibility against Israeli aggression.

d. When the internal security forces shall be fit to carry out their security missions the armed forces shall be returned to their bases.

e. The intelligence system of the armed forces shall be reorganized for sole military purposes.

4. The solution of the problem of Lebanese displaced persons

Every Lebanese national who has left his home since 1975 shall have the right to return to his point of departure. Laws will be passed to ensure this right and means of rehabilitation will be provided. Given the aim of the Lebanese government to impose its control over all of Lebanese land through its own resources first and foremost by means of the internal security forces and on the basis of the ties of legitimate Lebanese forces in extending the sovereignty of the Lebanese government during a period of time not exceeding two years after the ratification to the national reconciliation document the establishment of the national accord government and the constitutional ratification of the political reforms. At the conclusion of this period the two governments - the Syrian government and the Lebanese national accord government - shall decide on the redeployment of the Syrian forces in the Bekaa area and the western Bekaa approaches in Dahr al-Baydar to the Khamana-al-Mudayraj-Ein Dara line. Should the need arise (for the forces to be deployed) in other locations this shall be decided by a joint Lebanese-Syrian military committee with the agreement of the two governments to determine the scope of the Syrian forces and the duration of their presence in these areas. The agreement shall also define the relationship between these forces and the Lebanese authorities in the places they are stationed.

The Arab League "troika" committee is prepared to assist the two states in achieving this agreement should they so wish.

PART III: THE LIBERATION OF LEBANON FROM ISRAELI OCCUPATION

1. Renewed state control to the internationally recognized Lebanese border requires the following measures:

a. The implementation of Resolution 425 and the other Security Council decisions referring to the complete removal of the Israeli occupation.

b. Adherence to the armistice agreement signed on March 23 1949.

c. Taking all necessary measures to liberate all Lebanese lands from Israeli occupation the extension of government sovereignty to all these lands the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with Israel and the strengthening of the UNIFIL presence in southern Lebanon in order to ensure the Israeli withdrawal and to restore security and stability to the border area.

PART IV: LEBANESE-SYRIAN RELATIONS

Lebanon which has Arab affinities and an Arab identity maintains loyal ties of brotherhood with all Arab states. It maintains preferred relations with Syria based on the roots of close affinity history and common interests.

This is the bases for coordination and cooperation between the two states which shall sign agreements in various areas in such a manner as to realize the interests of both states within the framework of the sovereignty and independence of each.

On this basis and given that the security principles create the necessary climate for the development of these preferred relations Lebanon cannot serve as the source of a threat against Syrian security nor can Syria serve as the source of a threat against Lebanese security. Hence Lebanon shall not allow itself to serve as the transit point or base for any force state or organization interested in harming its own security or the security of Syria.

Similarly Syria which meticulously upholds the security independence and unity of Lebanon and the agreement between the two countries shall not allow any activity that threatens (Lebanese) security independence or sovereignty.

Source: http://www.israel.org/israel-info/Titles.cgi/mad


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1997-2001 by Ayman Ghazi
ayman@ghazi.de
Last changes: September 29, 1997