The publisher of An Nahar and architect of Resolution 425, Ghassan Tueini, yesterday urged the government to ignore Israel’s proposals for a withdrawal and immediately deploy the army in the occupation zone.
“No matter how realistic the statements made by officials are, it is better to ignore the Israeli proposal to avoid falling into childish conflicts,” Tueini said during an open meeting at Sidon’s cultural centre.
Tueini, who as Lebanon’s ambassador to the UN in 1978 helped draft Resolution 425, demanded that the army be quietly deployed in the occupation zone in case of a “surprise Israeli withdrawal”.
“The Unifil forces should also feel the army’s readiness to be deployed in the area, even if the withdrawal was a result of an international agreement,” Tueini said.
He said the presence of the army in the area would stifle Israel’s reasons for future attacks on the south.
Tueini also called for intense and secret diplomatic activity to take place.
“We should move from a situation of stagnation to that of motion, even if only for informative reasons,” he said adding that these talks should include Russia and China.
Tueini also recommended that the media create an atmosphere to convince the international community that rejecting any negotiation with Israel over Resolution 425 was not a rejection of peace.
“On the contrary, the Lebanese stance demands a return to the basis of the rules made in Madrid, which Lebanon refused to participate in without making clear the differences between Resolutions 425 and 242,” he said.
Working on such principles would build Lebanon’s credibility and prepare it to resume negotiations under the terms called for in Resolution 425.