Saqr Hits Out at 'Shabiha' Aoun, Bassil over Syrian Refugeesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
MP Oqab Saqr on Sunday lashed out at Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and Energy Minister Jebran Bassil over their latest calls for closing the Lebanese-Syrian border to stop the influx of Syrian and Palestinian refugees into Lebanon.
“The statements and speeches we have been hearing for days from some Lebanese politicians, topped by Michel Aoun, who have been repeating an outdated discriminatory rhetoric, will become part of the history of racism,” Saqr said in a communique.
Slamming Bassil without naming him, the lawmaker added: “One of Aoun's ministers has gone too far and likened them (Syrian refugees) to imported evil ideas and called for expelling them together with the Palestinian refugees – a step that amounts to an extraordinary challenge to the extinct hawks of South Africa's apartheid.”
“In short, they are seeking to complete the siege of the Syrian people, with one of the shabiha (pro-regime militia) slaughtering people in Syria and another closing the border” in Lebanon, Saqr added.
He described those seeking to close the border as “a bunch of racists who rose to power in Lebanon through a black coup d'etat.”
“What's dangerous about this approach is that it is being marketed in some circles as aimed at pleasing Christians ahead of the elections, which represents a great attack against Christians, their values and their sense of humanity,” Saqr added.
Addressing the FPM's ally Hizbullah, Saqr asked: “Has your memory betrayed you to forget how much the Syrian people helped your people during (the) July 2006 war” with Israel?
On Saturday Aoun warned that “the number of Palestinians in Lebanon is nearing one million.”
Commenting on the arrival of refugees from Syria through the border, Aoun said this is a “real danger from which our attention should not be deviated.”
“Nations supporting the revolutionaries in Syria with money and arms are obliging Palestinians to flee the war-torn country,” the FPM leader added, wondering why these regimes do not “take responsibility of the refugees instead of blaming us and putting the entire burden on Lebanon".
Around 10,000 Palestinians has fled from Syria to Lebanon and since the latest violence at the Yarmuk camp in Damascus another 3,000 have crossed the border or were in the process of crossing, UNRWA deputy chief of staff Lisa Gilliam has announced.
On November 20, Aoun cautioned that “the accumulation of refugees on the Lebanese border confirms that they are not all refugees and this poses a threat, especially if they are fighters taking part in the war in Syria.”
“Everyone knows that the issue of asylum starts with individuals asking you for help and ends with them mutineering against you,” he added.
The FPM leader cautioned that “this issue has become very dangerous because they are spread across all areas,” calling on the government to “publish the numbers and oversee residency across Lebanon.”
“No one knows the numbers and this is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that the director of army intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau, the General Security, the State Security, municipalities and mayors don't know anything about the numbers,” Aoun said.