Miqati: Targeting Any Ministry over its Role in Catering to Syrian Refugees is Unacceptableإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister Najib Miqati warned on Wednesday of the negative impact of linking the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon to local political disputes.
He said: “Targeting any ministry or official Lebanese agency over their handling of the issue is unjustified and unacceptable.”
He made his remarks while chairing a meeting on the Syrian refugees.
The meeting, held at the Grand Serail, was attended by Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn, Education Minister Hassan Diab, Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, and head of the Higher Relief Council Ibrahim Bashir.
Miqati added: “The government and all of its ministries and agencies were capable of meeting the relief demands of the Syrian refugees from the very beginning of the Syrian crisis.”
The premier remarked however that the government is no longer capable of meeting the demands of the ever-increasing number of refugees despite the assistance of government and non-government agencies.
He stressed that the government devised a plan to meet the demands of the refugees, which includes the fair distribution of resources and aid and following up on their needs.
It carried out this plan to complement that of United Nations agencies, he said.
“The government, with all of its agencies and ministries, never discriminated against a pro- or anti-Syrian regime supporter,” he emphasized.
“It handled the refugee file from a humanitarian approach and it is therefore unacceptable that any ministry be attacked over its tackling of this issue,” stressed Miqati.
Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali recently sent a letter to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry complaining that the Social Affairs Ministry was involved in helping “extremist Salafist organizations.”
Ali said his mission had received complaints from Syrian refugees claiming “extremist Salafist organizations” were demanding that they declare their opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in return for aid through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The ambassador accused the Social Affairs Ministry of being responsible for the pressure exerted on the displaced.
Abou Faour said last week that he reprimanded Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour in a “friendly way” during a cabinet session for referring the accusations of the Syrian diplomat as if he were adopting them.