The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

We followed with keen interest the proceedings of the convention held by the "Lebanese Forces" in Canada on April 23, 24, and 25 under the chairmanship of its Secretary General Mr. Hanna Atiiq. We took note of the texts of the talks presented at the occasion, especially the lengthy and detailed speech given by Mr. Atiiq, which was accurate in relating the events that took Lebanon by storm, honest in exposing the facts behind them, and courageous in assessing the present and pinpointing the root cause of the crisis.

The Secretary General told the story of the War on Lebanon in all its details and ramifications, and identified its causes, background, and objectives. He further stressed the role that Syria played in igniting that war, and assigned the responsibility for the destruction of Lebanon to the regime of Hafez Assad, which carefully planned and executed a strategy aiming at controlling and forcefully annexing Lebanon to the Syrian entity after dismantling it, impoverishing it, emptying it of its youth, pilfering its resources, and imposing absolute dominion over its constitutional institutions.

Mr. Atayyeq then discussed the internal divisions that plagued the Lebanese Resistance, pointing to what was then referred to as the "war of elimination" as a dirty, destructive, and suicidal war that gave the Syrian army the opportunity to enter the liberated regions and complete its seizure of what was left of Lebanon .

He concluded with a promise to his comrades to rebuild and reorganize their ranks according to a clear political program whose objective is to continue the march to liberation.

The Lebanese have long yearned for this kind of straight, courageous, honest and truthful talk, having had enough of the culture of lies and deceit practiced by the political establishment. One ought to recall that the "Lebanese Forces" were indeed founded in 1976 on the very basis of political transparency in speaking honestly to people and proclaiming the truth no matter how difficult or hurtful it may be.

This man spoke in the language of the fighter who knows no equivocation, servility or bias. He spoke as the militant who rejects meekness, submissiveness, weakness and surrender. He spoke as the child of the Cause who will not rest until he achieves the goals of his sacred Cause.

Therefore, and having reached this dangerous phase and bleak period of our contemporary history, we see no alternatives but to act according to the following two tasks:

First, to raise our voices high and loud for the sake of closing the ranks and rebuilding a unified Lebanese Resistance in all its parties, organizations, and movements within the framework of the Lebanese Front and on the basis of complete coordination, honest cooperation, and mutual respect.

Second, to support the conclusions of this conference and stand by the Secretary General of the Lebanese Forces in his political program and his goal of rebuilding this venerable organization. To organize its ranks and cadres and bring it to where it can serve Lebanon and the aspirations of its people and the sacrifices of its martyrs.

Those two tasks are, in our opinion, the beginning of the road to liberating Lebanon from the grip of the Syrian occupation and its local collaborators, and the guarantee for our return to our homeland in dignity and honor.

To Hanna Atiiq and his comrades, we raise our salutations of friendship and peace.

Lebanon , at your service,

Abu Arz,

30 April 2004