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Syria’s Position vis-à-vis Lebanon

This document was made possible with support from Youmna and Tony Asseily


Syria’s position vis-à-vis Lebanon

The Syrian Government sees the Lebanese leaders as the enemy, and the leftist movement’s leaders in Syria believe that the Lebanese Government is aiding and abetting those who plot against their country. They also believe that the Lebanese President of the Republic and his Foreign Minister are taking part in the planning of these plots and that the former is under instructions from the British and the latter from the Americans.


Regular daily contacts with opposition leaders and representatives in Lebanon are ongoing to prepare the campaign against the Lebanese Government and the present situation in Lebanon. They are also preparing, in the course of these contacts and in conjunction with Egyptian representatives in Damascus, statements to the press and questions and answers to the parliamentarians. Syrian and Egyptian newspapers and radio stations are also hastening to support all opposition activities in Lebanon. This is what is taking place at the level of the political campaign; in addition, there are interconnected plots to carry out destructive operations, foment trouble, and threaten prominent personalities with assassination by a special team operating under the supervision of the Syrian Army's Deuxième Bureau, made up of professional Palestinian terrorists, hired gangsters, and extremist Baathists.


Iraq and Saudi Arabia's policy of seeking a rapprochement with Syria has helped ratchet up the campaign against a Lebanon isolated from these two countries, if only at the surface. Being the only country that openly professes loyalty to American policies has weakened the position of the Lebanese Government and lost it the support of powerful loyal elements within the country. Among these elements are friends of King Saud and of French policies who view America's collaboration with the PPS with the objective of implementing the Fertile Crescent Project as a threat to their own interests. The Syrians see this as a good opportunity to ratchet-up the campaign against Lebanon's leaders, with help from the opposition within the country.


The meeting which was held on Monday, 29 September at the al-Nijem al-Ahmar Restaurant at the Damascus Fair and brought together Syrian officers, parliamentarians and journalists, concentrated on detailing the position of each Arab country regarding the American-Syrian crisis, as follows:


Jordan: It is now subject to American pressure under the pretext that it is a poor country and still needs assistance. Traitor agencies like Samir al-Rifai, Sharif Nasser, Bahjat al-Talhouni, and Queen Zein have tricked King Hussein who has fallen victim to their bad advice. They hope that an internal explosion will soon take place in Jordan.


Iraq: Its geographic location imposes on it the need to change its policies and stand behind Syria out of fear of the communist danger nearby.


King Saud: He is a wise and wily politician who is presently working, and will always work, only on furthering his own interests. He sees the collapse of the Syrian entity, his ally and neighbour, and enmity with Egypt, his natural ally against the Hashemites, as not in his interest for the time being. They, however, describe him as a first-class plotter against socialism and communism, when circumstances allow and the outcome is deemed favourable to him, and as the main provider for the move to defeat socialism and communism in Jordan.


Lebanon: They describe its Government's policies as being coloured like the tiles of a mosaic. The President of the Republic and the Foreign Minister are siding with the West against Syria and the Prime Minister and a number of ministers are trying to get closer to Syria and pretending to support it; the country's religious and political figures are no different. They say that Lebanon is a centre of espionage and plotting against Syria, and harbour hatred and bad intent towards it.

The Syrian government and leftist leaders disapprove of the Lebanese government, Lebanese opposition leaders prepare a campaign against the government, and other Arab countries configure their policies toward Syria.


Document Information


Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 12, File 178/12, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford.


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Youmna and Tony Asseily