Bassil Raises Refugee File, Urges Giving Arab League Seat Back to Syria

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil on Tuesday urged from Moscow the Arab League to return Syria to its seat and raised calls from Moscow for the repatriation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.

"It is no longer acceptable to continue squandering Arab rights in preparation for the announcement of 'the deal of the era,’ which turned out to be a chain suffocating our cause,” Bassil said at the Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum.

"Unmistakably, our enemy is Israel and our compass is Palestine. All that distracts us from our goal defending the rights of the Palestinian people is an attempt to keep our attention away from the best interests our peoples; thus, I call upon you to reconsider your calculations and to redefine your objectives," he added.

"Some might think that I'm digressing and not sticking to the main subject of our meeting, but fact is, the political sphere is the most important aspect of the Arab-Russian cooperation so as to restore balance to our region," he added.

"Strengthening our cooperation is not directed against anyone, and no one should be concerned, because the main objective of this meeting is coordination, cooperation, and seeking ways to a better life in our Arab region," Bassil maintained.

"Every time we meet, there is a vacant seat disrupting the joy of our Arab gatherings; it is no longer permissible for Syria to remain outside the Arab scope," he added, pushing Arab foreign Minister to give Syria back its seat in the Arab league.

"Historically, each of us had reservations on the Syrian regime. Personally, I used to be an opponent of the Syrian presence in Lebanon. However, when the Syrian army withdrew to Syria, we wanted to build in the best of relations with our neighboring country," Bassil explained.

Now that the Syrian crisis is on the verge of an end, Bassil went on to voice support to a political solution that would be approved and chosen by Syrians, coupled with democratic elections, reconstruction, and refugee return.

"Lebanon nowadays is an Arab and international responsibility, and it is not Russia's responsibility alone to support it in its mission helping refugees return sagely to Syria," Bassil added as seeking unified Arab support towards this end.

Source: Naharnet

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