Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday stressed that the only solution to the refugee crisis lies in the safe return to their homeland in accordance with international laws and treaties.
Speaking at the third Brussels conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region, Hariri affirmed the Lebanese government’s commitment to cooperating with the United Nations over any initiative that concerns the refugees' return, including that put forth by Russia.
“Lebanon can no longer endure the socio-economic consequences of the presence of more than a million and a half refugees on its land,” Hariri stated.
“We want to see an end to the Syrian refugee issue because it has become a burden for Lebanon,” he added.
“The International community must acknowledge that Lebanon cannot go on like this and that funds must be provided,” Hariri stated, requesting that $2.9 billion would be secured to help Lebanon deal with the lingering refugee crisis.
“Let us hope that there won’t be a Brussels 4 and 5 and 6,” he said, calling on the allies of the Syrian government to pressure it into facilitating the return of refugees.
Turning to Lebanese affairs, Hariri stressed that his government is aware of the need to introduce financial reforms in order to revive the economy, adding that hard decisions must be made to reduce the public debt.