Naharnet

Syrian Ambassador Lashes Out at Demands to Expel him

Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali slammed on Saturday calls by some officials to shut his country's embassy in Lebanon, considering that Beirut has no interest in doing so.

“We are keen to maintain deep brotherly ties between the two countries, those who are demanding the shut of the Syrian embassy represent only themselves,” the ambassador told reporters after talks with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun in Rabieh.

On Friday, al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Khaled al-Daher accused the Syrian regime of the twin bombing that rocked Tripoli in August.

“Those who are behind the bombings are revealed, it's the gang of (Syrian President) Bashar Assad in Lebanon,” Daher added.

He pleaded for justice, urging President Michel Suleiman and the government to expel the Syrian ambassador and cutting ties with the neighboring country.

Forty-five people were killed and over 800 wounded in the twin bombings that targeted two mosques in Tripoli.

Asked about the conditions of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Ali reiterated that his country “previously warned of the impact of the situation on Lebanon and the region.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 842,000 Syrians have fled to Lebanon since Syria's conflict broke out in March 2011.

Lebanon is hosting the highest number of Syrian refugees in the region, followed by Turkey and Jordan.

While both Turkey and Jordan have opened official refugee camps at the borders with Syria, Lebanon's government has refused to do so.

Thousands of refugees now live in apartments -- either as relatives' guests or as renters.

But thousands of others, who cannot afford the cost of living in Lebanon's cities, shelter in hundreds of informal tent settlements scattered across the country.

Ali pointed out that the Syrian government insists that it could find a way out of the crisis if the rest of the people cooperate with it.

“If there was any cooperation we would've averted the situation,” the diplomat said, noting that Syria is still reaching its arm for any solution.

Ali added that gunmen in Syria are preventing people from returning to their country, calling on neighboring countries to act responsibly.

“The crises are complicated and dangerous and there's a clear intervention by Israel,” he said.


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