In an interview with Australian television on 03/04/2017, Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Gebran Bassil spoke to journalist Jeremy Fernandez about Lebanese politics nowadays, and the influx of Syrian refugees into his country. He also talked about the Lebanese community in Australia.
Here is a brief of the interview with the Australian program “Lateline.”
Lebanon’s foreign minister Gebran Bassil has met with members of Australia’s Lebanese community and told them not to accept anyone who will not follow Australia’s laws. Minister Bassil also warned the West against falling into the trap of Islamophobia when it came to countering extremism.
Immigration Minister Peter Mutton last year said it was a mistake for Australia to have resettled certain migrants in the 70s and he pointed to Lebanese Muslims. Minister Bassil told “Lateline” it was a “very limited number” that Mr. Dutton was referring to:
“- What we need is more moderate people and the segregation of people who would lead you towards more violence.”
“- What we need is a reform from inside our region. From inside Islam… like what happened with Christianity.”
He said the Lebanese community had a long and successful history in Australia and it should continue to prosper.
Mr. Bassil also said the Lebanese government would support Australia when it came to dealing with Lebanese asylum seekers being held in the Manus Island detention center:
“- We understand that Australia will apply its laws,” he said.
“- We definitely agree on whatever you do because we don’t want Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians to move out from their country and go look for better conditions where they will find them in the West.”
(For the entire interview watch the video)