Geagea rejects possibility of refugees remaining in Lebanon

In a statement released by the party, the LF chief maintained that Lebanon "opened its door out of compassion with their tragedy, but this does not mean that our sovereignty should be taken for granted"
by Georgi Azar

15 May 2018 | 14:58

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 15 May 2018 | 14:58

Samir Geagea, the leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces party, right, and his wife Strida Geagea, left, attend a meeting with senior party officials to announce his candidacy for the Lebanese presidency (Photo Courtesy Associated Press).

BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea reiterated Tuesday his uncompromising stance toward the Syrian refugee crisis by "unequivocally rejecting any possibility of displaced Syrians remaining in Lebanon, even temporarily." 

"Lebanon is a land with its own people," he said. 

In a statement released by the party, the LF chief maintained that Lebanon "opened its door out of compassion with their tragedy, but this does not mean that our sovereignty should be taken for granted," adding that Lebanese have a "right to their land and natural resources." 

Lebanon elected its first representatives for the first time in nine years last week, and the road to the formation of a new Cabinet is expected to be an arduous one. 

"The first take of the new Cabinet should be to put forth a plan for the return of Syrian refugees to areas which are deemed safe, in line with international laws and regulations," Geagea argued. 

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, thousands of displaced flocked over to Lebanon escaping the bloodshed with over 1.5 million refugees scattered across its territory. 

On Monday, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil was adamant that "Lebanon won't wait till it collapses before it acts," saying that "a policy regarding Syrian refugees would soon be implemented." 

Bassil was addressing attendees at the third International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East, in Brussels, where he stressed that the "new government will be able to facilitate the return of refugees back to Syria." 



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