Lebanon has adopted a “secret” naturalisation degree to allow scores of foreigners to receive citizenship, including those affiliated to the Syrian regime, local media sources reported.
Most of the people who are included in the decision are wealthy and hold Arab and Western citizenship, especially Syrian and Palestinian nationalities, according to the reports.
Minister of Justice Salim Jreissati confirmed the leaks on Friday, at a time when Lebanese women who are married to foreign men are still deprived of the right of granting nationality to their children.
“The decree entirely falls within the jurisdiction of the President of the Republic under the amended Article 3 of the Nationality Law of 19 January 1925, and it fully complies with its terms,” Jreissati said in a statement.
On Saturday, Walid Jumblatt, head of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), posted on Twitter pictures said to belong to people who are listed in the naturalisation decree, most of whom are close to Al-Assad’s regime and are involved in large projects inside and outside Syria.
A number of deputies and politicians announced that they will appeal against the decree before the Shura Council of the Republic.
According to press reports, the refusal of the Lebanese authorities to naturalise the children of women who are married to foreigners is primarily related to the issue of Palestinian refugees under the pretext of “preserving their right of return”.