Hariri Warns Syrian Crisis Threatens Lebanese Stability


Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has warned against the repercussions of the Syrian refugee crisis on Lebanon’s stability.

“The impact of the crisis on Lebanon is becoming increasingly acute, thereby exacerbating, over the short term, the existing economic and social challenges,” Hariri said on Thursday in a speech at a donor conference held in Brussels.

“The needs remain substantial and the competition over scarce resources and jobs has put the relationship between host communities and the displaced under severe tensions,” he said.

Lebanon and the international community should “work together and intensify our efforts to ensure that critical humanitarian assistance is delivered,” he said.

He stressed that “the only solution to the Syrian displaced crisis is their safe return to their home country, in accordance with international laws and treaties”, and reiterated the government’s commitment to “working with UNHCR on any pragmatic initiative that ensures the safe return of the displaced Syrians, including the Russian initiative”.

At the Brussels conference, the United Nations won almost $7 bln in aid pledges for Syria on Thursday, overcoming fatigue among donors after eight years of civil war.

Nearly 12 million people inside Syria need emergency aid, and 5.6 million refugees are being housed and fed in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt.

On the sidelines of the conference, Hariri held meetings with top Arab, Western and UN officials.



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