Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai confirmed on Friday that the Syrian refuges in Lebanon have become a terrifying burden on Lebanon’s culture, policy, security, and economic, pointing out that the number of Syrian refugees has reached nearly 2 million.
Al-Rai’s statement came in a message addressing the Syrian refugees, saying “Syria is your home and you should preserve it, while Lebanon is sitting on a volcano, and you should return to your country as quickly as possible.”
Al-Rai accused the international community of not allowing refugees’ return for political reasons and he called for supporting the refugees in Syria and not Lebanon.
Al-Rai had addressed the Lebanese officials by saying, “Negotiate with the Syrians for the return of the displaced, and ask Bashar al-Assad whether he wants them to return before predicting his position.”
He added that the Pope wanted the Syrians to remain in Lebanon, but he submitted to him a detailed economic and social report on their influence on Lebanon and changing its features.
Al-Rai had previously considered that their return was linked to a Lebanese, Arab and international political decision. He saw that the absence of a decision to return Syrians to their country had turned into conspiracy against Lebanon’s entity, unity, identity and security.