Bassil Says Not Targeting Certain Party, Donors Want to 'Naturalize' Syrians

W460

Free Patriotic Movement chief and Foreign Minister announced Tuesday that his remarks on March 14 were not targeted against a certain party, as he accused the international donors anew of seeking to keep the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“My outcry on March 14 was not against a certain party, seeing as we also are part of the government,” Bassil said in an interview on LBCI television, after his remarks sparked a war of words with al-Mustaqbal Movement.

“What some considered to be escalation from my side was an expression of dismay over the start of the government's work. We gave ourselves a 100-day deadline to launch work and a month has passed and we need an extraordinary state of mobilization,” Bassil clarified.

As for thorny issue of refugees, Bassil said it is wrong to deal with the issue “from one angle.”

“We had called for a unified paper from the very beginning,” he added.

“We support the CEDRE conference resolutions, but we will endorse what is in Lebanon's interest,” Bassil went on to say, referring to a Lebanon support conference that was held in Paris.

As for the repatriation of Syrian refugees, the FPM chief acknowledged that a part of the Syrians cannot return due to “fear and circumstances.”

“But the other part is not returning because of the international aid they are getting here. That's why we are calling for a safe and dignified return and not a voluntary one, because they might stay here and the issue would turn into naturalization,” Bassil warned.

Asked whether Lebanon should talk to Damascus or Moscow, the FPM chief said Syria is “closer than Russia in this regard and it is better to talk directly to Syria.”

“We cannot be neutral regarding the issue of refugees,” he stressed.

As for Lebanon's relations with Iran and the Arab world, Bassil said Lebanon's interest should “dictate the foreign policy, whether in the refugee file or other issues.”

“Lebanon's interest is to remain an Arab country. Iran supported Lebanon in its war against Israel and Lebanon should decide on its cooperation with Iran and Saudi Arabia according to its interests,” the FPM chief explained.

“Lebanon should be a country of rapprochement and not an arena for conflict,” Bassil emphasized.

Asked about his tense ties with Gulf countries and his stances at Arab meetings, the foreign minister reminded that he once said that “our national unity is more important than Arab or international consensus, because this is what would preserve our country.”

“Some countries will get used to us dealing with them according to our interest and not the interest of any other country,” Bassil added.

As for the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's upcoming visit to Lebanon, Bassil said Hizbullah is “not a terrorist party and I will say this to the Americans.”

“Lebanon's interest obliges us to say that one third of the Lebanese people are not terrorists,” he explained.

Asked whether he believes that Israel will wage a war against Lebanon in the near future, Bassil said: “Only a mad person would wage a war without guaranteeing its outcome. Israel can only create pressure through its claims about missiles and tunnels.”

“Lebanon is a country of peace, not a country of war. When war is imposed on it, it seeks to emerge victorious,” he added.

Timeline
  • 19 March 2019, 22:40

    Bassil: Those who launch accusations against me must offer evidence and I'm the only one in the history of the Lebanese republic who has lifted secrecy off his bank accounts.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:38

    Bassil: We acknowledge that a part of the Syrians cannot return due to fear and circumstances, but the other part is not returning because of the international aid they are getting here. That's why we are calling for a safe and dignified return and not a voluntary one, because they might stay here and the issue would turn into naturalization.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:36

    Bassil: We support the CEDRE conference resolutions, but we will endorse what is in Lebanon's interest.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:31

    Bassil: It is wrong to deal with the refugee issue from one angle and we had called for a unified paper from the very beginning.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:24

    Bassil: My outcry on March 14 was not against a certain party, seeing as we also are part of the government.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:18

    Bassil: What some considered to be escalation from my side was an expression of dismay over the start of the government's work. We gave ourselves a 100-day deadline to launch work and a month has passed and we need an extraordinary state of mobilization.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:16

    Bassil: It is not in the interest of Lebanon or Arabs to keep Damascus outside the Arab League in light of the tracks that are drawing up Syria's future, such as Astana.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:09

    Bassil: Some countries will get used to us dealing with them according to our interest and not the interest of any other country.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:09

    Bassil: We cannot be neutral regarding the issue of refugees.

  • 19 March 2019, 22:00

    Bassil: Lebanon is a country of peace, not a country of war. When war is imposed on it, it seeks to emerge victorious.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:59

    Bassil: Only a mad person would wage a war without guaranteeing its outcome. Israel can only create pressure through its claims about missiles and tunnels.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:55

    Bassil on his tense ties with Gulf countries: I once said that our national unity is more important than Arab or international consensus, because this is what would preserve our country.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:53

    Bassil: Lebanon should be a country of rapprochement and not an arena for conflict.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:53

    Bassil: Lebanon's interest is to remain an Arab country. Iran supported Lebanon in its war against Israel and Lebanon should decide on its cooperation with Iran and Saudi Arabia according to its interests.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:49

    Bassil: The U.S. has an interest and it needs Lebanon in a lot of policies.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:48

    Bassil: The 'deal of the century' will be born dead and it has no chance to succeed.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:47

    Bassil: Hizbullah is not a terrorist party and I will say this to the Americans. Lebanon's interest obliges us to say that one third of the Lebanese people are not terrorists.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:46

    Bassil: Lebanon's interest should dictate the foreign policy, whether in the refugee file or other issues.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:45

    Bassil: The constitution says that Lebanon's foreign policy is designed by the president, the premier, the government and the foreign minister, and this is consensual democracy.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:43

    Bassil: The Russian army is nowadays present on our border and on Israel's border.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:43

    Bassil on refugees: Syria is closer than Russia in this regard and it is better to talk directly to Syria.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:41

    Bassil: When Israel attacked us, only our strength defended us.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:40

    Bassil: Sometimes we agree with the U.S. policies and sometimes we disagree. We implement the policy that preserves our sovereignty and independence.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:39

    Bassil: We are only loyal to Lebanon.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:38

    Bassil: Our interest requires us not to be aligned with a certain axis.

  • 19 March 2019, 21:37

    Bassil: Our agenda is a national one and not aligned with a foreign force. Lebanon should not be part of a certain axis.

SourceNaharnet
Comments 13
Thumb s.o.s 19 March 2019, 21:42

Bassil: We are only loyal to Lebanon.

S.O.S: No, you’re only loyal to your pockets.

Thumb s.o.s 19 March 2019, 21:44

Bassil: When Israel attacked us, only our strength defended us.

S.O.S: No, Sanioura’s tears saved the MEA fleet, we were defenseless in 2006 and we’re still paying the $10 billions for the reconstruction of the country.

Thumb thepatriot 20 March 2019, 01:58

http://www.beirutreport.com/2015/11/how-did-minister-bassil-acquire-22m-of-real-estate.html

Thumb warrior 20 March 2019, 04:22

Bassil Says: Donors Want to 'Naturalize' Syrians

To do that, the donors have to force you and 127 other members of parliament to amend the constitution. Then, they have to force the 'strong' president to sign the decree and the amendment and finally the 'strong' president has to issue the naturalization decree with the names of the 3 million plus syrian refugees just like he did a few months ago without being forced by donors.

You should have never become a minister!

Thumb justin 20 March 2019, 07:21

lol but his followers believe every word he says:)

Thumb ashtah 20 March 2019, 15:46

It is sad there are still Lebanese who believe these scare tactics.

Thumb enterprise 20 March 2019, 05:18

demagoguery at its best.

Thumb justin 20 March 2019, 07:24

Bassil: Those who launch accusations against me must offer evidence and I'm the only one in the history of the Lebanese republic who has lifted secrecy off his bank accounts.

Not true!!! Ashraf Rifi did that when he assumed office and after he resigned. Anyway, everybody knows corrupt officials keep nothing in their bank accounts in Lebanon and have offshore accounts where most of their cash is stashed.

Thumb ex-fpm 20 March 2019, 11:41

He is someone Ali Baba looks up to and can learn a lesson or two from in the art of thieving.

Thumb ex-fpm 20 March 2019, 11:57

Bassil's VIP travels costing the treasury a fortune. Every where he goes VIP lounges have to be opened for him and his entourage at a great cost.

لم تنفِ وزارة الخارجيّة ما ذكرته النائبة بولا يعقوبيان حول تكاليف فتح صالون الشرف في مطار لندن بل بدأته في بيان تأكيد وعزته إلى أسفار الوزير الكثيرة والمرهقة.

Missing servant-of-jesus 20 March 2019, 12:52

Most of the young Syrian men do not want to return because of obligatory military service. They do not want to be killed in a war.

Thumb canadianleb 20 March 2019, 13:47

In case anybody cares this is an interesting read and you can thank the thieves running the government for this. http://flip.it/2oFOHh

Thumb whyaskwhy 20 March 2019, 16:30

He only has to ask and he would receive a sainthood by his supporters who worship the ground this dweeb walks on. He is safe and will continue to amass a greater fortune because our society condones his low standards. Wake up guys hes no different than the same lord, leader or god you worship in Lebanon.