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Towards Lebanese National Reconciliation

1 January, 2009


This collection of reference texts is an invitation to review existing Lebanese reconciliation agreements in order to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Drawing lessons from past agreements can be a valuable input to the process of developing a new reconciliation policy. It allows raising important questions about past reconciliation accords: Have their failures been due to weaknesses in the texts or in the implementation? Have expectations about reconciliation been too high or too low? Has reconciliation been overloaded with too many issues, or, on the other hand, have important issues been left out?

Reviewing past reconciliation policy may have the advantage of leading to a more detailed assessment of Lebanese attitudes and capacities and may generate more realistic expectations for the outcome of a new reconciliation policy.

Can reconciliation of divided societies be part of security sector reform or is it a necessary pre-condition for it? In a divided society, security sector reform can hardly achieve its main objective, which is to provide security and justice for all. The division of society is incompatible with the idea of good governance of the security sector, as good governance is based on inclusive and non-discriminatory values such as the rule of law, democratic governance, accountability, and institutional process.

The present collection contains two sections. The first section includes three basic reference texts: the Constitution of 1926, introduced during the French mandate period; the Ta’ef Agreement of 1989, which brought an end to the 15-year long civil war; and the Doha Agreement, which was concluded in 2008 and now regulates the inter-factional relations. The second section of the publication contains international agreements which concern the relations between Lebanon and Israel (the Armistice Agreement between Israel and Lebanon of 1949 and the Agreement between the Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Republic of Lebanon of 1983), the relations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (Cairo Agreement of 1969) and the relations with Syria (Fraternity, Cooperation and Coordination Treaty between the Republic of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic of 1991).

It is hoped that this reader will be a useful tool to all those involved in shaping and formulating reconciliation and national security policy.


Regula Kaufmann, Antoine Laham, Jonas Loetscher, Arnold Luethold