"Syria and Lebanon have agreed to start diplomatic ties and exchange ambassadors for the first time since independence about 60 years ago, a Syrian presidential adviser said on Wednesday. The decision was taken during a meeting in Damascus between President Bashar Assad and his visiting Lebanese counterpart Michel Sleiman, said presidential counselor for politics Buthaina Shaaban.
"The two presidents decided to establish diplomatic ties at the level of ambassadors, in line with the treaty of the United Nations and international law," the statement by Shaaban said.
Presidents Assad and Sleiman "instructed their Foreign ministries to take the necessary measures in this regard to conform with the laws of the two countries," the statement added." Daily Star
Lebanon was carved out of the side of the Syrian mandate given to France after World War I.
It was created for reasons satisfactory to the French. These motives were probably a mixture of various interests. One of them was certainly a French desire to create a homeland for the Christian population (specifically the Maronites I think) of that part of the Levant. The French often exhibit a complex national character made up in part of; worldly realism (some might call it cynicism) bordering on weltschmerz, sentimental attachment to hopeless causes and old friends (the US for example) who do not really value the friendship, relentless creativity while clinging to things like artisanal production of wine and cheese in tiny quantities… It should not be surprising that I like them.
The creation of Lebanon was one of their "little projects." Syria itself had never really existed before the League of Nations Mandate. It had always been a geographical expression under various governmental dispensations. Nevertheless, it became a "thing" under French rule and the French chose to detach coastal Syria to make Lebanon. This offended the sentiments of Arab nationalists and Muslim activists alike. The creation of a state for the Christian minority was clearly not something that either of these groups would welcome. To make matters worse, The French decided to include the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon in their creation. They seem to have done this in search of that elusive "beast," ECONOMIC VIABILITY. The problem in doing so was that the valley had a large Muslim population. This was large enough that when combined with the other Muslims in the "country," eventual emergence of Muslim majorities became inevitable. Palestinian flight into Lebanon in the 40s made the process occur even more rapidly than it would have otherwise.
Syria never accepted French action in severing Lebanon from the mandate. The fact that Syria itself existed because of European "meddling" was of no importance to the Syrians.
As a result of the arbitrariness of French action, successive Syrian governments have chosen not to accept Lebanon’s existence as a separate country. This the first time that Syria has acted as though it actually accepts the idea of Lebanon. This is the first time.
Supposedly, there will be embassies in the two capitals. There will be public diplomatic recognition. The border will be demarcated.
Perhaps the next American administration will eventually become reconciled to this development. After that, the next American administration will perhaps come to accept the peace that Bashar Assad wants to make with Israel.