Creating new perspectives since 2009

Lebanon: Maronite Patriarch calls for Syria refugees to return home

September 13, 2022 at 11:56 am

Syrian refugees are seen in a refugee camp in Tripoli, Lebanon on 3 January 2021 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai has called for returning Syrian refugees to their country, saying they “cannot stay at the expense of Lebanon”.

In a TV interview, Al-Rai said: “The first war was imposed on you [Syrian refugees], but if you do not return to your homes, you are imposing on yourselves the second war, and you cannot stay at the expense of Lebanon.”

Al-Rai called on Lebanese officials to negotiate with their Syrian counterparts, including regime President Bashar Al-Assad, to return those whom the regime is willing to take back.

“The Pope wanted the Syrians to stay in Lebanon, but I submitted to him a detailed economic and social report on their impact on Lebanon and the change in its features,” Al-Rai added.

Lebanon hosts about 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled a brutal, decade-old conflict in their home country.

READ: Six Syrian refugees found dead on boat reaching Sicily