The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Lahoud: define terrorism

Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud is calling for an international definition of terrorism in what seems to be an attempt to defend Hizbullah:

"It is not enough to declare war on what one deems terrorism without giving a precise and exact definition," Lahoud said in a meeting with foreign diplomats on Monday.

He also said it was unacceptable for states to offer their own definition in the absence of an international interpretation, alluding to the United States, which had accused Lebanon of harbouring terrorists.
"It is likewise unacceptable for the world's big powers to impose their concepts and definitions of this term on weaker countries," added the president. 
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has reportedly raised the possibility of sending special forces to the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon "to apprehend terrorists."

Although what motivated this is probably the threat against Hizbullah, which over the last decade has transformed from militia to conventional political force in Lebanese politics (as have all Lebanese factions since the Taif accords) but retains a guerrilla force in the south, it is also reminiscent of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak's call for international conference on terrorism.