20-06-2021 09:50 PM Jerusalem Timing

FM: Lebanon Stability Lies in Reducing Number of Syrian Refugees, Backing Army

FM: Lebanon Stability Lies in Reducing Number of Syrian Refugees, Backing Army

The Lebanese FM Jebran Bassil held talks on Friday with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Lebanon’s efforts to support the burden of Syrian refugees and the ongoing crisis in the neighboring country

Bassil-SteinmeierThe Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil held talks on Friday with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Lebanon's efforts to support the burden of Syrian refugees and the ongoing crisis in the neighboring country, Naharnet reported.

Bassil said in a press conference after meeting his German counterpart: “Stability in Lebanon lies in lowering the number of Syrian refugees, backing the army, and holding presidential and parliamentary elections.”

“We demand support for the Lebanese army, which is playing a central role in confronting terrorism,” he added.

“Lebanon is harboring over a million refugees and the international community has not lifted a finger to help it,” Bassil stressed.

He also thanked Germany for all its support and development aid to Lebanon, noting that “it is one of the few countries that have respected their vows to Lebanon.”

The large flow of refugees should be confronted with a plan that would ensure their return to their homeland, explained Bassil.

The minister then stated: “I fear for Europe in that it has not yet realized the dangers of the refugees and of terrorism.”

For his part, Steinmeier declared: “We are aware of the heavy burden Lebanon is enduring with the Syrian refugees and you should know that Germany will not abandon it.”

“Germany is presenting around a billion Euros in aid to Syrian refugees and the countries sheltering them,” he explained.

There are now around 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Their presence is creating a major strain on the country's infrastructure.

The German minister arrived in Beirut on Friday for talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Speaker of the House Nabih Berri, and Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, according to NNA.