THE WORLD MARONITE
UNION ENDORSES CHURCH CALL FOR SYRIAN WITHDRAWAL WARNS "PRO-SYRIAN MARONITE
VOICES" FROM SIDING AGAINST THEIR PEOPLE
Beirut, New York, September 20, 2000, staff. Lebanon Bulletin. www.wlo-usa-org In a statement issued in response to the call by the Council of Maronite Bishops, which called on the Syrian Army to redeploy out of Lebanon, the Executive Council of the World Maronite Union (WMU) issued the following communique: "The WMU endorses the appeal of the Maronite Church, particularly the call for the redeployment of the Syrian Army as a first step for its complete withdrawal from Lebanon. The Union totally supports this call and asks all Maronites around the world to come to the support of this historic move. The WMU, as it requests the pull out of the Syrian occupation based on UN Resolution 520 and on the Taif Agreement , reasserts the resolutions of the three world maronite congresses held in Mexico (1979), New York (1980) and Montreal (1985) as well as the international Maronite seminars held in Limassol (1988), Lausanne (1989) and Rome (2000), all of which clearly called on the Syrians to withdraw from Lebanon. The WMU call on its branches worldwide, as well as on all Maronite Leagues in the Diaspora to mobilize and pressure their respective governments in view of implementing that withdrawal.
The WMU also warns some of the Maronite politicians and feudal leaders from siding with the Syrian occupation and against the Maronite Church and people, as a way to protect their privileges and financial and political interests with the Syrians. The WMU will not be silent in response to those alleged Maronite voices, manipulated by the intelligence services against the Maronite Patriarchate and the Lebanese Christians. No voice will be louder then the voice of Bkerke (Maronite Church) and its people.
The World Maronite Union also warned the Muslim spiritual leaders who have responded to the Maronite Council of Bishops and endorsed Syria's role, that such an attitude will drag them in a campaign against Lebanon's freedom and sovereignty and against the Maronites and the Christians, in defense of Syria and its interests. "Those spiritual leadership must stand by Bkerke against the foreigners (Syrians), not with the foreigners against a large segment of the Lebanese people." The WMU was signed by the President ot the Union, Sheikh Sami el-Khoury and its secretary general, Dr Walid Fares.
THE SCDP CALLS FOR A MARCH TO BKERKE
The Social-Christian Democratic Party issued a press-release in Beirut calling on the Christian People of Lebanon to express its support to the Patriarch and to the call of the Maronite Council of Bishops by marching on to Bkerke and expressing their support directly. The SDCP said this call os historic and must rally all Lebanese, particularly the Christians around their spiritual leadership to start working on the withdrawal of the Syrian occupation from Lebanon.
THE HISTORIC CALL BY THE MARONITE CHURCH
It is to note that at the end of its Tuesday meeting, the Council of Maronite Bishops chaired by the Patriarch issued a call asking the Syrians to start re-deploying in Lebanon as a first step to withdraw from the country. The release, issued in the afternoon criticized the oppression of the Lebanese people by the Syrian-controlled intelligence services and the ongoing presence of Syrian military forces in the country. Reacting to the declaration, the spiritual leaders of the Sunni and Shiites issued a joint release responding to the Maronite Council.