Derbas Denies Rift with Bassil, Says Syrian Refugees Camps to be Erected in Buffer Zonesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas denied on Saturday any rift with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, stressing that the cabinet had agreed to establish camps for Syrian refugees outside Lebanese territories or in buffer zones along the border with Syria.
Derbas ruled out in remarks published in local newspapers the differences with Bassil over the appropriate ways to resolve the crisis.
The cabinet is mulling the establishment of camps in buffer zones between the Lebanese border crossing al-Masnaa and Jdeidet Yabous crossing on the Syrian side.
“Bassil's stance doesn't oppose the government's policy,” the minister said.
On Friday, the foreign minister warned of the rising tensions between the Lebanese people and Syrian refugees due to the burden the latter is posing on Lebanon, rejecting the establishment of camps for the displaced within the country.
He said during a press conference: “Legitimizing Syrian refugee camps is a violation of the constitution, which speaks against nationalization.”
“We request that the Syrian authorities set up camps for the displaced within Syrian territories,” he added.
Lebanon currently hosts 1.1 million refugees, the highest number at 38 percent of Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn country for other countries in the region.
The U.N. says the country needs $1.6 billion (1.2 billion euros) for 2014 to be able to cope with the refugee crisis, but that only 23 percent of this has been gathered.
According to Central Bank of Lebanon statistics, the country faces a financial burden of $4.5 billion because of the refugee crisis.
In May, the Lebanese authorities took a decision to ban Syrian refugees from heading to their country or lose their status.