Geagea Slams 'Big Deception Campaign' on Syrian Refugees
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Wednesday blasted State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib's visit to Syria as he lashed out at what he called a “big deception campaign.”
“The two discouraging signals represented in Minister Saleh al-Gharib's visit to Syria and Minister Elias Bou Saab's stance at the Munich conference can only spark concern over the future of the government's work,” Geagea said in an interview with the Central News Agency.
“There is a big deception campaign that is taking place at the expense of the Syrian refugees cause,” the LF leader added, wondering “how the head of a regime that has displaced its people and is pressing on with its punitive and intimidatory policies could secure the refugees' return.”
He added: “All signals clearly indicate that the refugees do not want to return due to Assad's presence at the head of the regime, so how can communication with him become a way to return the refugees? Such an approach cannot convince any reasonable person and is a mere attempt at deviating attention and a trick that can no longer deceive the Lebanese.”
“It is only a window that they are trying to open to drag Lebanon into normalization with Syria,” Geagea went on to say, lauding Prime Minister Saad Hariri's decision to “label al-Gharib's visit as a personal one.”
Turning to Bou Saab's stance, the LF leader described it as “unacceptable.”
“What he said does not reflect the stance of the government, which has not convened yet to specify its stance,” Geagea added.
“Who has tasked him with announcing Lebanon's stance on the safe zone in Syria?” he wondered.