Lebanese Lawmakers reply to Trump: Lebanon’s Land is One for all Lebanese…Only!

Gebran Bassil replied to Mr. Trump on the spot, and sent on twitter the following: “Mr.Trump said that for the cost of each refugee resettled in the USA, he can assist 10 refugees in their region;” I say: We can assist 100 in their country.

“There will be no settlement for refugees in Lebanon.” Speaker Nabih Berri said at the end of today’s parliament meeting and added, “in the name of lawmakers, and according to Lebanon’s constitution, Lebanon’s land is one for all the Lebanese and there shall be no settlement of non-Lebanese in Lebanon!”

Referring to the first paragraph from the Lebanese Constitution’s Preamble, the Lebanese cabinet responded on Wednesday to the statement made by US President Donald Trump, whereby he spoke of settlement of refugees. The Lebanese constitution is clear and states the following: “Lebanese territory is one for all Lebanese. Every Lebanese shall have the right to live in any part thereof and to enjoy the rule of law wherever he resides. There shall be no segregation of the people on the basis of any type of belonging, and no fragmentation, partition, or settlement of non-Lebanese in Lebanon.”

Furthermore, PM Saad Hariri told the reporters that, “the issue of refugee resettlement is not proposed in Lebanon, and everyone is aware of our position which rejects such measure.”

While at the UN General Assembly in New York today, U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations that the U.S. will focus on keeping displaced people in their “home region” with an eye on eventual repatriation; and said, “for the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.”

American President Donald Trump speaks during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

“Mr. Trump also stated that the United States is poised to announce in the coming weeks how many refugees it will accept in the new fiscal year, and addressed the countries that host refugees by saying that the U.S. gives financial assistance to these countries: “out of the goodness of our hearts.”
“We offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region, and we support recent agreements of the G-20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible. This is the safe, responsible and humanitarian approach.” Trump concluded.

According to An Nahar Newspaper, the Syrian refugee influx into Lebanon has strained the country’s infrastructure, and has also sparked accusations that refugee camps are harboring militants from the war.

Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, who amount to more than a quarter of the country’s population not to mention undocumented individuals.

The World Bank says the Syrian crisis has pushed an estimated 200,000 Lebanese into poverty, adding to the nation’s one million poor.

Hala Hayek Najjar