06/19/2019, 09.09
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Moscow invites Lebanon to Astana talks on Syria

The next three-way meeting (Moscow, Tehran and Ankara) scheduled for July will focus on the refugee issue. Analysts and experts speak of diplomatic success for tLebanon, among the most exposed to emergencies. The presence of Beirut is "a priority" in the management of the refugee issue.


Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Russia has asked Lebanon to participate in the upcoming talks in Astana on the war in Syria scheduled for July, during which the issue of refugees and assylum seekers will be addressed in particular. The official invitation arrived following a visit by Alexander Lavrentiev, special envoy of President Vladimir Putin for Syria, and of Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Verchinine to Beirut.

Analysts and experts speak of a great diplomatic victory for the Land of the Cedars, which will be present at the talks promoted (some time ago) by Russia, Iran and Turkey - on opposite sides in the conflict - in the capital of Kazakhstan to find a lasting solution to the war. The invitation to attend , adds a source, is also the "recognition" of the fact that Lebanon has "priority" in the decisions concerning the refugee dossier.

The Russian delegation has promised the Lebanese leaders to do their best to solve the problem, starting from the assumption that the talks in Astana aim to favor dialogue between Damascus (supported by Russians and Iranians) and opposition (close to Turkey). It is a parallel process to the UN peace talks in Geneva which the United States flatly opposes. In fact, for the White House, Astana is a useless duplicate that risks hindering the work of the United Nations.

However, the Russian invitation is welcome in Beirut considering the refugee emergency (almost two million in the midst of the crisis, compared to a population of 4.4), one of the most important challenges for the survival of the country. In fact, the enormous influx from Syria risks collapsing the social and economic system, placing an unbearable burden on infrastructure.

Furthermore, analysts and experts fear the risk of an increase in radicalization among those hosted in reception centers in conditions of absolute precariousness. World Bank sources say that the Syrian crisis would have pushed at least 200,000 Lebanese beyond the poverty line, adding to the million already present.

Beirut authorities recall that 80% of Syrian territory is no longer at war, so it is essential to find a solution to the crisis. However, until now the international community has shown little interest in the Lebanese emergency, insisting on the need for a political solution before proceeding to repatriation, keeping the principle of "voluntary return" as a criterion.

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