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Aoun: Syria crisis cost Lebanon $25bn

February 10, 2020 at 11:28 am

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (L) receives Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab (R) at Baabda Palace in Beirut, Lebanon on 21 January, 2020 [Lebanese Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian crisis has so far cost Lebanon $25 billion, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said.

In an interview with French Valeurs actuelles magazine, the Lebanese president said the Syrian crisis has had major repercussions on his country.

“Many of the problems that we suffer from today are the result of the current Syrian situation. Western countries do not even allow direct negotiations with the aim of returning the displaced Syrians to their homes,” he said; stressing that the displaced Syrians “are never political refugees, but rather displaced as a result of the security conditions in their areas.”

“The war has now ended in these areas which have become safe so they must return,” he said.

Aoun said the economic situation in his country is “very difficult”; explaining that the Lebanese government will take strict financial measures in order to revive the economy.

He added that a number of bills had been submitted to parliament to fight the rampant corruption.

Aoun explained that a number of countries have expressed their desire to help Lebanon, especially France.

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