The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

As a corollary to our previous statement on the upcoming milestone of presidential elections in Lebanon, the following is an outline of the political program that, in our opinion, is required to lift Lebanon out of its deadly crisis and put it back on the road to prosperity.

1 – Restore Lebanon’s authentic identity that is unqualified with any outside label, shield it away from any Arab-Arab or Arab-Israeli conflict, engage the country in the regional peace process on the sole basis of Lebanon’s highest interests, and establish relationships with the surrounding countries from the standpoint of Lebanon’s unadulterated sovereignty and on the basis of full equality and reciprocity.

2 – Establish a secular State based on the separation of State and Religion, and adopt the Basic Law of Lebanon’s Constitution after abolishing the Taef Agreement. Open up the doors of opportunity to all Lebanese to hold any public office, including the highest posts, irrespective of the religious affiliation of the candidates for these posts and based solely on their merit, competence, and loyalty to their country. Strengthen democratic practices in civil and public life, sanctify responsible freedoms, and meticulously respect human rights.

3 – Create a powerful professional army on the basis of sound patriotic foundations and an authentic Lebanese ideology. Equip this army with the most modern weapons and military equipment, and entrust it with the mission of protecting Lebanon with its own resources without any associate or external partner and after disarming the illegal organizations and dismantling them completely and permanently.

4 – Close the doors to all future naturalizations, and abolish all suspicious naturalizations carried out since 2000 and to this date. The issue of foreign residents present on our soil in huge numbers should be tackled, including the deportation of those eligible for deportation to their home countries and allowing only a select number of foreign residents to stay – according to the country’s needs - not to exceed the threshold proportion of 6% of the Lebanese population.

5 – Abolish the Land Ownership for Foreigners Law and reevaluate the suspect real estate transactions that took place since 2000 and to this date, confiscate all lands that were illegally sold, and slam a complete ban on selling land to foreigners with the exception of property allocated to foreign consulates and embassies.

6 – Dissolve all parties and political movements with foreign affiliations, and combat all imported ideologies, especially those espousing fundamentalist tendencies based on religious fanaticism, and encourage political parties that pledge their allegiance to Lebanon.

7 – Establish free education to all Lebanese nationals from kindergarten through college graduation, and impose mandatory education up to at least the Middle School level. Modernize educational programs in line with the norms of our present time, adopt Lebanese language as the official language, and establish Lebanese heritage and modern languages as the foundations for such programs. Eliminate illiteracy within a short period of time.

8 – Elaborate a novel electoral system that secures equitable and fair representation, expresses the genuine aspirations of the popular will, abolishes political and religious feudalism and the domination of the ballot system by financial capital or any other factor that stands in the way of the will of the voter.

9 – Lay off the excessive bureaucracy of State administrations and retain only the elite. Modernize public administrations and institutions and give them modern foundations and state-of-the-art technology and equipment.

10 – Achieve free medical care for all Lebanese and social security for all senior citizens.

(This political program will continue in the next communiqué).

Lebanon, at your service,

Abu Arz,

09 April 2004