Statement by Former Prime Minister Dr. Salim Al Hoss

At the Special Meeting of Leaderships of

the Arab National Congress, Beirut, August 4, 2024

A meeting of members of the Lebanese Arab National Congress was held in the premises of the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut. Participants were former Prime Minister Dr. Salim Al Hoss, former Secretary- General of A.N.C. Dr. Khair El Din Haseeb and former Secretary- General Mr. Ma’an Bashour, as well as the following members: Dr. Hassan Al-Cherif, Dr. Hussein Abul Naml, Attorney Khalil Barakat, Mrs Rehab Mekahhal, Dr. Rageed Al- Sulh, Dr. Samir Sabbagh, Mr. Imad Shbaro, Mr. Fathi Abul-Ardat, Mr. Mamdouh Rahmoun, Mr. Munir Al- Sayyad, Dr. Hani Suleiman, Mr. Hashem Qassem, and Mr. Yasser Nei’me.

From outside Lebanon the meeting was attended by members of the ANC General Secretariat Mr. Amin Iskander (Egypt), Mr. Abdel Qader Ghouqah (Libya), Mr. Magdi Ma’asarawi (Egypt), and ANC member from Sudan Mr. Mohamed Hasab Al-Rasoul all of whom were in Lebanon with popular delegations of solidarity with the Lebanese resistance and people.

The participants extended a salute of respect to the Arab Nation’s martyrs in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraqi reaffirming their solidarity with emigrants of the standing fast Lebanese people who confront the Zionist aggression; they declared their absolute support to the heroic resistance defeating the enemy’s army in many locations despite of his destructive, genocidal military machine and his high-tech developed weapons, and despite of the cover recurred for the enemy by regional and international forces. They also acknowledged all the popular initiatives in solidarity with Lebanon and Lebanese resistance.

The participants affirmed their trust of the military steadfastness of the resistance, noticing in particular the military abilities and skills shown by resisters. They expressed, though, their sense of apprehension of the feverish attempts going on in the external world aiming at fragmenting the Lebanese home front, creating an internal strife. The current situation in this respect is surely better than at the start of the zionist aggression, as a result of the census among Lebanese on resisting aggression, a condition that prevailed particularly in the aftermath of the second Qana massacre.

The participants took notice of the popular steadfastness at present, having two aspects: one social shown by the humanitarian relief, a function of high degree of control over distribution and transparency, both required to guarantee reaching those in need and those who emigrated.

The other aspect is shown in the political dimension of envisaging a political outlet of the dilemma; something the U. S. administration is still trying to abort in order to use aggression as a means of enforcing its coercive plan for the entire region.

The participants noticed that it is the U. S. administration that attempted to tie the Lebanese crises with other crises of the region, declaring, through its Secretary of State that it endeavors to create a new Middle East as a spring off of the Lebanese “pains of labour”. This would lead the entire region’s countries, supporting or opposing this plan, to tumble to Lebanon’s battle field, either to implement Rice’s plan or to resist it.

The participants also noticed that the question of the two Israeli soldiers captured was easy to solve at the first moment, through negotiations aiming at exchanges prisoners of war, just as those taken place previously with the Lebanese and the Palestinian resistances, or those that took place with states like Egypt and Syria. Nevertheless, the intentions of the zionist aggressor was to put enforce its aggressive plan with or without that pretext.

The participants reminded that the Cabinet Statement issued by the Lebanese Government explicitly stipulated that “the Lebanese resistance is the true expression of the Lebanese peoples national right to liberate their land, defend their dignity against Israeli aggressions, threats and ambitions. The Lebanese Government, as well, affirmed in the same statement her “interest in defending the cause of prisoners of war and detainees in Israeli prisoners, and in appealing to the international community to put pressure on Israel to release them”.

The participants drew attention of the world to the fact that the question of the two Israeli soldiers captured was but a pretext quickly passed-by revealing the real aims of aggression, on top of them putting in force the Security Council resolution No. 1559, the realization of the New Middle East plan with its main components: destroying Arabism, fragmenting the region to enable Israeli domination.

The participants expressed their sense of pride emanating from the wide popular movements that continued showing their condemnation of the aggression and their support to resistance. They noticed the wide difference between the attitudes of peoples and of regimes, calling upon Arab party union, and popular forces to take steps aiming at developing these movements from forms of expression into ways of influencing and changing the Arab official reality.

Hence, members of the ANC General Secretariat present in Lebanon presented their account of the measures and activities taken in their own countries, including campaigns of support that covered capital cities, cities and villages. They mentioned in particular the preparations for an international popular conference to convene in Cairo few days later in support of Lebanon and Lebanese resistance. The Conference is called for by the “World Campaign Supporting Palestine and Iraq”.

Discussing ways and means of confronting the aggression, the participants decided upon the following resolutions and recommendations:

         - Taking into account the fact that this aggression on Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq is port and parcel of an American-zionist scheme aiming at gaining control over the region, dismantling its societies, seizing its resources and enabling Israel of imposing its conditions on the Arab Nation, the response will be through unified resistance of these three countries and nationwide.

         - Calling upon the Arab Governments to use oil weapon to press the active Security Council member states to issue a resolution for immediate, unconditional cease-fire, the same as during the October 1973 war. The prevailing conditions in the world oil market will make this pressure far more effective. In case Arab Governments will not respond momentarily the participants call upon the union and labor movement to boycott shipping and stop exporting oil.

         - Major Arab oil producing states are called upon to use oil prices increases that were gained as a result of the Lebanon war and Zionist aggressions in Gaza, to help Lebanon pay for the expenses of its reconstruction, and helping authorities in Palestine to break down the economic siege forced upon the Palestinian people.

         - Calling upon the Arab countries with diplomatic relations with Israel to sever those relations, expel Israeli ambassadors and call back Arab ambassadors in Israel. They are also called upon to close all Israeli offices in a number of Gulf and Arab Maghreb countries. Claims of these regimes that those relations and offices are used for contacts to the benefit of Arab objectives have proven false by recent events in Palestine and war on Lebanon. Israel used them to cover its aggression.

         - Reinforcing efforts aiming at the formation of the historical bloc consisting of the main currents prevailing in the Arab Nation, the national, Islamic, Arab Left and the national liberal currents, in all Arab countries, as a way for all of them to rise to the responsibilities of the nationalistic challenge, uniting efforts aiming at overcoming all factionalism, sensitivities and narrow fanaticism and joining a single national front.

         - Pushing in the direction of organizing wide popular movements and demonstrations nation-wide in solidarity with the Lebanese people and the heroic Lebanese resistance, intensification of contacts among all active forces of the Arab society, working, in collaboration with the Follow-up Committee for Arab Popular Mobilization to fix a date of demonstration challenging all prohibitions and constraints by the ruling authorities at any price. Blood that was shed in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq, is not by any measure less valuable than others’ blood. The popular movement is the conscience and the shield of the Arab Nation. It is also the practical dimension that proves the nation’s presence, readiness to confront challenges, stand face to face to its enemies and defeat their plans for tumult and aggression.

         - Basing on the unity of the Arab Nation’s objectives of the resistance, especially in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq, the meeting reaffirmed its call for the Iraqi people, with all its currents and forces opposing occupation, to ally around the resistance against aggression in Palestine and Lebanon, to ovedrcome all sorts of divisions and fanatics, to pay attention to the fact that the unity of Iraq is a function of their awareness that the U. S. occupation and its ally the zionist entity. The aim is expelling occupation and deprive it of any chance to raise upheavals among Iraqis. War on Lebanon proved anew that the U. S. administration, in its support and encouragement of continuous aggression, is the number one enemy of this nation and of each and every country of its components. It also proved that the ongoing battles in Lebanon and Palestine are inseparable from these going on battles of resistance against occupation in Iraq.

         - Condemning Arab regimes that appeased the Zionist aggression on Lebanon and so far prevented the convening of an Arab Summit to call for halting aggression and rescuing Lebanon.

         - Working for cementing and reinforcing the existing national unity, as national unity of every Arab society is the exemplar way of defeating the
“Greater Middle East” plan. It is the trust expression of the will of Arab people.

         - Calling – upon peoples of different ways of life, to boycott U. S. commodities. They need no approval on that from the regimes.

         - Organizing campaigns of support and relief to the children of Lebanon and all of the Lebanese citizens who emigrated, thus affirming constant Arab fraternity and sense of unity of destiny, extending a salute to all initiative taken in that direction.

         - Calling – upon Governments of Arab, Islamic and friendly countries to furnish the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq with all necessary means to confront the enemy’s airpower superiority.

The participants discussed the general Arab conditions, the attitudes of different states vis-à-vis the U. S. Zionist aggression against Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq. They saw in all these developments a beginning of a new phase of national comprehensive confrontation to tear-down plans aiming at liquidating all Arab manifestations in this region and forcing U. S. Zionist domination yearning for its resources and for protecting Israel’s security.