Mansour: Spiking Number of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon a Burden on the Stateإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour warned Friday that meddling in Syria's internal affairs will only “prolong” the crisis further, pointing out that Syrian refugees in Lebanon are a “definite burden” on the Lebanese state, the An Nahar daily reported.
The daily quoted Mansour as telling the Russian Novosti News Agency that “large numbers of Syrian refugees are now in Lebanon which undoubtedly constitute a large burden on the Lebanese state.”
Reiterating Lebanon's decision not to meddle in Syria's internal affairs, Mansour said: “Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria we reiterated that demands for reform cannot be achieved through violence.”
“Demands for reform should stem from the will of the Syrian people. External interferences in the Syrian crisis will only extend and complicate things more. That is what made Lebanon adopt the policy of dissociation,” he said.
“We do not meddle in Syria's affairs or decisions, and we are not bound by any decision taken against it.”
“Parties cannot cancel or terminate each other,” he said, stressing “President (Bashar) Assad has his position and popularity, he is the president of Syria. It's not an issue of who stays and who leaves. But it's is more the necessity to stop violence and achieve reforms.”
“There is a state and opposition in Syria. Parties must hold dialogue in order to find a political solution to get the country out of the crisis,” the Minister added.
Warning of the dangerous repercussions on Syria and the region if the crisis persisted, he said “prolonging the war not only affects Syria's unity and sovereignty but also is a threat to the whole region.”
He assured that “meddling in Syria's affairs only aggravates the deadly fighting.”
A United Nations report published in December predicted that the number of Syrian refugees would double to more than one million in the next six months.