Libanon und die „Falle der Berliner Konferenz“


„How Lebanon escaped the “refugees’ trap” in Berlin”

On October 23, the independent, leftist As-Safir daily newspaper carried the following report: “…A few days prior to the conference that will be hosted by Berlin on the situation of the “Syrian refugees” at the headquarters of the German foreign ministry and under foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and the attendance of Tamam Salam and a Lebanese ministerial delegation, the attempts at pressuring Lebanon have increased in order to push the country to sign the Geneva refugee agreement or to abide by its clauses, which will make Lebanon a “country of asylum.” This means that Lebanon will be forced to keep the Syrian refugees for long years and to provide them with services and privileges that exceed its ability due to demographic, security related, economic and social reasons.

“PM Salam, Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil and Minister of Social Affairs Rashid Derbass worked on aborting this endeavour and hindering the draft document that Lebanon was to sign… As-Safir learned that the scenario that was being prepared for Lebanon at the Berlin Conference consisted of issuing an internationally binding document that will be issued at a later phase by the presidency of the International Security Council. According to the available pieces of information, the Turks are the ones who called for including a clause in the document’s draft asking Lebanon to sign the 1951 refugees’ agreement.

“Widely informed sources told As-Safir that an internal party served to provide the organizers of the conference with the impression that the suggested document might pass. The sources added that the external sides would not have dared to weave the threads of such a document without a “collusion” somewhere in Lebanon.

“The [Lebanese] ministry of foreign affairs completely rejected this draft and threatened to boycott the Berlin conference. The participation of the entire Lebanese delegation was said to be jeopardized unless the organizing country, Germany, responds to the counter Lebanese suggestion, which still needs to be promoted for the thirty countries that are taking part in the conference on the basis that Lebanon is going there in order to receive help to confront the refugees’ crisis rather than to receive orders…

“[The Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs] Rashid Derbass, told As-Safir that Lebanon refuses to be part of the “asylum agreement” because this will lead to outcomes and burdens exceeding Lebanon’s ability to bear and will lead to some serious internal repercussions. He warned that this agreement implicitly aims at pushing us to adapt to and accept the displacement situation, to teach the refugees how to work in some occupations and to merge them in the Lebanese community in return of some support and aid…“ – As-Safir, Lebanon“

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