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Overview

 

In 2005, the Government of Lebanon (GoL) issued a decision to establish the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC) and attach it to the office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, demonstrating the importance of its direct connection with the main governmental decision-making position. The creation of this committee represented a significant governmental, national and political step towards activating and improving the Lebanese-Palestinian relations on all political, national, social, and humanitarian levels that affect the living conditions and situation of Palestinian refugees.

This step paved way for dealing with the Palestinian presence in Lebanon with a humanitarian perspective, which is considered a precedent in the history of relations between the Lebanese state and the Palestinian refugees. Furthermore, it marked the start of a new era of adjusted and improved Lebanese-Palestinian relations  through generating a shift in the way the Lebanese state historically dealt with this presence, i.e. from an exclusively security angle, and through bridging the gap that had been induced in the Lebanese government relating to these issues. 

The Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee was entrusted with the task of coordinating between the different ministries and public administrations as well as initiating fruitful dialogues that aim at improving the living conditions of Palestinian refugees and building confidence-based relations between the Lebanese and Palestinian communities. This has contributed to a change of governmental policies in this regard, based on the following principles:

 

1.      Full respect of Lebanese sovereignty, security, and legislations;

 

2.      Full support for the inalienable rights of Palestinian refugees, most importantly their “right of return”;

 

3.      Ensuring a decent living for Palestinian refugees pending a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict;

 

4.      Assumption by the international community of its share of responsibility in resolving the refugee issue. 

 

Establishment

 

On the 14th of October, 2005, the Lebanese Council of Ministers issued ministerial decision no. 41/2005 commissioning Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to form a “Lebanese Working Group on Palestinian Refugees” – the original designation of “LPDC”, which expresses the nature of the mission and mandate entrusted to this committee in a more accurate manner. However, this designation was soon substituted by the “Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee”, which is the most common designation still adopted to the present day.

The working group initiated its work through a series of meetings that were held in the presence of the concerned ministers, and were headed by the Prime Minister at that time, until decision no. 89/2005 was issued on November 25, 2005, stipulating the formation of a working group presided by Ambassador Khalil Makkawi. The working group comprised representatives from different ministries, in order to follow up on all Palestinian affairs and “carry out discussions with the representatives of the Palestinian community in order to deal with the Palestinian refugee affairs in Lebanon.” 

 

Mandate

 

As per decision no. 89/2005, the mission and duties entrusted to the LPDC are set as follows:

 
 1.      Addressing the livelihood, socio-economic, legal and security conditions of Palestinian refugees in and outside camps in Lebanon, in collaboration with UNRWA;
 

2.      Developing a mechanism to put an end to the Palestinian armed presence outside the camps;

 

3.      Initiating a dialogue on the regulation and control of Palestinian weapons inside the camps;

 
4.  

    Examining the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Palestine. 

 
 
  

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