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For immediate release
Media contact: Eleana Benador
Middle East Forum
212-717-9966 or 917-716-4812

Philadelphia, Pa., June 12, 2000 - Syria's occupation of Lebanon for the past 25 years is Lebanon's worst problem, according to a study just issued by the Middle East Forum, a non-partisan think tank located in Philadelphia.

Signed by a bipartisan roster of distinguished figures, the 48-page study, titled Ending Syria's Occupation of Lebanon: The U.S. Role, was signed by Jesse Helms (chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), several U.S. representatives, Jeane Kirkpatrick, retired flag officers, and an array of policy analysts, business leaders, and Lebanese-American activists.

Now is the time for the U.S. government to demand a Syrian withdrawal and restore Lebanon's sovereignty, the report argues, especially at a moment when the Israeli occupation has ended. The report also suggests a range of specific policy recommendations, from issuing a clear statement of policy ("All Syrian forces must leave Lebanon") to putting serious pressure on Syria.

The Middle East Forum is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization that publishes the acclaimed Middle East Quarterly. The Lebanon Study Group reflects the ongoing mission of the Middle East Forum to explore key issues faced by the Middle East from an American vantage point.

The report is available in hardcopy for $5 per copy from the Forum or by e-mail distributed upon request to