Hariri: Russia's Refugee Initiative is Only One on the Table
Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Wednesday that the Russian initiative on the repatriation of Syrian refugees is “the only pragmatic one on the table.”
“Lebanon can no longer bear the burdens of more than 1.5 million refugees of its Syrian brothers on its soil, which are massive economic, social, environmental and financial burdens,” Hariri said in a speech during a Center House dinner banquet to honor Georges Shaaban, his adviser on Russian affairs.
“That's why our policy is to seek their safe and dignified return as soon as possible,” he added.
Noting that “the Russian initiative in this regard, in cooperation with UNHCR, is exactly working on this objective,” Hariri pointed out that Moscow is seeking practical steps to put the initiative on track such as “the issuance of an amnesty and the suspension of military conscription for a two-year period.”
“This is on occasion to ask all friends and allies to press in this direction,” the premier went on to say.