Mentioning the Syrian refugees, Lebanon foreign and expatriates minister, Gebran Bassil said on Friday “the heavy displacement to Lebanon forms an existential threat to it,” and the links between immigration and terrorism in Europe.
He stressed that discussions have focused in particular on the fearsome exacerbation to the challenges that Lebanon is facing in light of the Syrian displacement crisis and the escalating international terrorism.
“We have focused on the negative effects experienced by our countries due to the current massive immigration. We have offered means to address the waves of immigrants that if not tackled by the roots would destabilize security and stability,” he confirmed.
Bassil’s remarks came during a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Timo Soini in Helsinki, .
“We have agreed to increase trade exchange between Lebanon and Finland as well as we have discussed the regional developments.”
Gebran Bassil considered the recent arrests in Greece, Germany and France of terror cells as an example of the link between “immigration and terrorism”, which some ‘traditional leaders’ refused to acknowledge.
“More stringent measures need to be applied in order to differentiate between economic migrants and those who are in need of humanitarian aid,” Bassil said.
the Lebanese FM stressed the need to cut off the funding of terrorist organizations, adding that military efforts must be exerted in a bid to uproot them.
Bassil concluded by saying that “the huge presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon poses an existential threat to the country.”
Syrian are not welcome in Lebanon
Lebanese figures have previously refused the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam that Lebanon does not accept any form of naturalization of the Syrian refugees or granting them the Lebanese citizenship,
“Lebanon’s constitution does not allow it to neither accept nor reject any forms of integration, resettlement or naturalization of Syrian refugees,” said Salam from the World Humanitarian Summit that started in Istanbul last month.
“The international community has not announced enough support (for Lebanon) so that it confronts the huge burden that is harming its economy and society,” Salam said.