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Minister: Syrian refugees in Lebanon ‘dangerous’

Energy Minister Gebran Bassil warned against the increase in number of Syrian refugees on Lebanese soil.

 

“I reiterate what I have already spoken about when I mentioned the danger of the increasing number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the need to put an end to this flow,” Bassil said in remarks published in Al-Jumhuriya newspaper on Thursday.

 

Bassil also told the daily that he was informed of a “dangerous” increase in crime and that the interior minister informed ministers during Wednesday’s cabinet session that 637 misdemeanors were committed by Syrian refugees and workers in Lebanon.

 

The energy minister’s remarks came following Wednesday’s cabinet session during which various security concerns were raised, including ones related to the refugees issues.

 

Lebanon is facing difficulties dealing with the increasingly high number of refugees fleeing Syria’s violent uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, which has killed more than 70,000 people since its outbreak in March last year.

 

Differences have emerged over the best way to manage the situation, with some politicians close to the March 8 group calling for closing the border with Syria, while others, affiliated with the opposition, have dismissed this proposal and urged more humanitarian aid for the displaced.

 

The enduring humanitarian crisis also prompted representatives of various countries to meet in Kuwait in January at an emergency International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria. 

 

International donors have pledged a total of more than $1.5 billion in aid for affected Syrians.

I reiterate what I have already spoken about when I mentioned the danger of the increasing number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.