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Situation in Lebanon

Greens/EFA motion for a resolution

Tabled by Hélène Flautre and Daniel Cohn-Bendit

on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, particularly that of 23 February 2005,

– having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2003 on the conclusion of an Association Agreement with the Republic of Lebanon,

– having regard to its resolution of 20 November 2003 on Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours,

– having regard to its resolution of 12 February 2004 on reinvigorating EU actions on human rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners,

– having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Lebanon signed on 17 June 2002,

– having regard to the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 21 February 2005,

– having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. deeply shocked at the car bombing which killed the Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri together with 18 other people and injured many others more on 14 February 2005,

B. whereas the assassination came at a time of rising tension between Syria and members of the Lebanese opposition and whereas in the days following the blast thousands of protesters staged demonstrations in Beirut calling for the resignation of the government and the end of Syrian influence in Lebanon,

C. whereas on 28 February the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Omar Karami, resigned as an opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence in the government was being debated in Parliament,

D. whereas Syria still has 15 000 troops in the territory of Lebanon which according to recent statements by the Damascus government will be redeployed towards the Lebanese border with Syria,

E. whereas the Taif agreement of 1989 which put an end to the civil war in Lebanon provided for Syrian soldiers to be stationed in the Eastern Bekaa Valley but significant parts of this accord have never been implemented with regard, in particular, to the total pullout from Lebanon,

F. having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1559 of September 2004 which calls on Syria to withdraw all of its forces from Lebanon and to end its political interference in the country,

G. having regard to the political pressure exerted by Syria on the Lebanese Parliament to adopt a constitutional amendment which allowed a three-year extension to President Lahoud's term in office,

H. deeply concerned about the decision by the Beirut government to reject the appeals by Hariri's family, the USA and France for an international investigation into the murder and taking note of its decision to ask Swiss experts to help the investigation by the Lebanese authorities,

I. whereas after the decision of the UN Security Council to ask the Secretary General to report on the circumstances of the killing, Kofi Annan sent to the country an investigation team led by Ireland's Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald,

J. whereas the resumption of talks between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian National Authority has made even more urgent the involvement of Syria and Lebanon in the process with a view to reaching a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict,

K. stressing that the forthcoming signature of the Association Agreement with the EU commits Syria to a political dialogue based on support for democracy, human rights and the rule of law and respect for international law,

L. underlining the necessity to prevent Lebanon from descending into a new period of turbulence and to support and consolidate the fragile democratic institutions and continue the reconstruction process,

M. highlighting the role that a fully democratic and sovereign Lebanon can play in the development of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy,

1. Expresses its condolences to the families of the victims of the car bombing and to all the Lebanese people;

2. Welcomes the extraordinary and spontaneous participation of the people in the squares and streets of Beirut which showed the democratic commitment of Lebanese society to a sovereign and fully independent Lebanon;

3. Calls on the Lebanese Government and security forces to collaborate fully and provide the UN team with all the means necessary to carry out the investigation;

4. Calls on the Syrian Government to comply with UN Resolution 1559 laying down the time frame for the total withdrawal of its troops from Lebanese territory;

5. Urges the Council, in this respect, to make the signing of the Association Agreement with Syria conditional on the adoption of such a plan for the withdrawal of soldiers from Lebanon;

6. Calls on the Council and the Commission to send a long-term election observation mission to Lebanon for the forthcoming general elections and calls on the Lebanese Government to provide all the conditions to enable the elections to be free and fair;

7. Is convinced of the utmost importance of achieving a satisfactory stabilisation of the country; urges, in this respect, EU Member States and the Council to raise this question at the UN Security Council, allowing for the possibility of sending an EU peace-keeping mission under a UN mandate;

8. Urges the Commission to finalise the action plan for Lebanon, addressing all the questions concerning the political stability of the country, the consolidation of its democratic institutions and the speeding-up of the reconstruction process;

9. Calls, in this regard, on the Council to set up a subcommittee on human rights within the framework of the Association Council once the Association Agreement enters into force;

10. Urges the Lebanese people to refrain from acts of intimidation and reprisals against Syrians working in Lebanon;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the President, Government and Parliament of Lebanon, the President of Syria and the UN Secretary General.

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