10/20/2017, 17.12

For al-Rahi, Syrian and Palestinian refugees are a "great burden" for Lebanon

The Maronite patriarch highlights how refugees now top more than half the Lebanese population, and have become “a demographic, economic, political, cultural and security threat”. Hence, “their return to safe places in Syria has become a necessity”.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi spoke today during a pastoral visit to Detroit, United States, about displaced Syrians and Palestinians, saying that they have become a “great burden on Lebanon and must return home,” but at the same time the country must show “humanitarian solidarity with their causes.”

“It is our duty as Lebanese to preserve our country and its specifications for the benefit of all of us, and for Lebanon to carry out its mission in its Arab environment,” Al-Rahi added. This “is why all the displaced [people] and refugees must return to their land and country.”

To “those who have taken refuge in Lebanon from Syria” who “amount to more than 1.5 million” must “be added the Palestinians” who have “become as much as half the number of Lebanese people.”

For al-Rahi, such refugees “have become a great burden on Lebanon. Even more, they have become a demographic, economic, political, cultural and security threat, and their return to safe places in Syria has become a necessity”.

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