Beirut – Qena

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The Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, affirmed that he is looking forward to finding a speedy solution that achieves the return of the displaced Syrians to their country, especially since several areas in Syria have become stable, pointing out that Lebanon is no longer able to bear more of the negative repercussions of this displacement, which inflicted losses on Lebanon exceeding 40 billion US dollars, according to the International Monetary Fund.

This came during Aoun’s meeting today with a Russian delegation headed by Mr. Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian President’s Special Envoy for Syrian Affairs.

Aoun said, according to a statement issued by the Lebanese Presidency, that the presence of about one and a half million Syrians in Lebanon, and about 500 thousand Palestinian refugees, totaling half of the population of Lebanon, negatively affects the various sectors in it, especially with the economic crisis that he suffers from, and the repercussions of the Corona pandemic (Covid-19), in addition to the losses that occurred as a result of the explosion in Beirut Port.

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He considered that the Russian initiative, which was launched in 2018 to find a solution to the Syrian refugee crisis, was not completed due to the positions of a number of Western countries that did not provide the necessary funding for this initiative, in addition to linking this return to finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis is not encouraging, especially since the issue The Palestinian Authority has been waiting for 72 years, and a just and comprehensive solution has yet to come.

President Aoun indicated that the international aid provided to the displaced Syrians should be provided to them in Syria because this encourages them to return and ensures their continued assistance, expressing his hope that a new conference will be held to discuss the issue of the displaced, which could help find a suitable solution to this humanitarian issue.

For his part, the Russian envoy affirmed that his country stands by Lebanon, especially in the difficult circumstances it is going through, noting the capabilities of the Lebanese people to overcome the ordeals they face.

He stressed his country’s readiness to provide support at various levels, especially for the rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructure.