Motion to the Swedish Parliament
2004/05: The Moderate Party 151 – October 2004
By Mrs. Gunilla Carlsson, MP and vice chairman of The Moderate Party, among others.

Development toward freedom, peace and democracy in the Middle East and Arab countries

The previously free and independent Lebanon is in reality a Syrian satellite. The Syrian military presence since 1976 is a de facto occupation that makes Lebanon's sovereignty and democratic development impossible. However, since the Syrian occupation the power is no longer in the hands of the people but as well the president, the government and the parliament as the army is controlled from Damascus. Syria even controls the election of a new president and actively affects the parliamentary elections to secure an extension of its dominance. Syria is a dictatorship where democracy and human rights are not respected.

UN resolution 1559, and the EU support for it, will bring about the start of a democratic development toward a free and sovereign Lebanon, if and when a Syrian military and political withdrawal from the country is accomplished. Through an active political work from the EU and Sweden, and a strong support of the UN resolution 1559, we want to persuade Syria to withdraw its armed forces and intelligence service from Lebanon.

We believe it is extremely important that international observers surveys the Lebanese parliamentary elections of 2005, in order to help accomplishing an election result that reflects the Lebanese people’s will, not Syria’s.

A matter that must be solved as soon as possible is the situation of the Palestinian refugees who live in refugee camps in Lebanon. The human, economical and social living conditions those children, women and men are forced to have, contradict to all human demands. Lebanon does not have the same prosperity level today that the country had when the first flow of refugees came in 1948. Lebanon will have enormous difficulties in taking care alone of the undertaking for giving the refugees a future in a free and sovereign Lebanon. The Palestinians, who came from other countries in the Middle East later to Lebanon on different occasions, are approximately as many as that first flow; they must be able to return to their respectively original refugee state that are responsible for their return to the native country.

The international community must support Lebanon, and the other concerned countries in this process, economically and in other ways. There are prerequisites that Lebanon will be free from Syria and develop democracy and prosperity.

We believe that Sweden could have a much more active role, the first step for that should be the reopening of the Swedish Embassy in Beirut.