Samir Geagea: 40% of Syrians in Lebanon are “illegal refugees”

The leader of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea (Samir Geagea/X)

The leader of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea (Samir Geagea/X)


The issue of Syrian presence in Lebanon continues to be a topic in the Lebanese political discourse. Today, April 19, the head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, stated that 40% of Syrians in Lebanon are “illegal refugees”.

During a press conference held on the same day, Geagea added that the relationship with the Syrian people has always been serious, but the relationship with the Syrian regime has been and remains bad, emphasizing solidarity with the Syrian people’s revolution which he considers one of the most suffering peoples in the 21st century.

Geagea assumed that the “Syrian crisis” would persist for an additional 13 years, potentially increasing the number of Syrians in Lebanon to four million, equivalent to the number of Lebanese citizens, considering the Syrian refugees’ situation in Lebanon a “real existential threat” to Lebanon.

He explained that according to international law, Lebanon is a transit country, not a country of asylum and that Lebanon has spent 70 or 80 billion dollars due to the Syrian displacement, attributing this expenditure to the corruption in the state. He sees the presence of all Syrians currently in Lebanon as “illegal”, excluding 300 thousand Syrians who have residency.

In his view, deportation does not need a judicial decision but a state action. He referred to the public security law, which stipulates the deportation of those without residency, and this correct decision does not require a judicial one; the solution is Lebanese, not in the European Union, as he expressed.

He also held the Lebanese General Security, the Internal Security Forces, and the Lebanese Army responsible for the Syrian refugee issue, alongside the Prime Minister and the Ministries of the Interior and Defense, politically. He called on the Minister of the Interior to implement the circulars issued.

Geagea expressed willingness to provide volunteers to address the refugee issue and work on this file, emphasizing that if the European Union considers the refugee file in Lebanon a humanitarian issue, it should distribute them among all European countries.

Lebanese Promise Party calls for visiting Damascus

Meanwhile, The Lebanese Promise Party (founded by Elie Hobeika, the former leader of the Lebanese Forces), in a statement on Thursday, said that after the repeated crimes committed by Syrians against innocent Lebanese and after the demographic, economic, and social changes exceeded reasonable limits, Syrian prisoners should be deported from Lebanese prisons to Syrian ones, coordinating with the relevant authorities.

It called for preparation for visits by the Prime Minister with an official delegation to Damascus to start implementing agreements made by the Minister of the Displaced, Issam Charafeddine, with the concerned Syrian ministries, which require the transfer of 180,000 displaced persons as a first batch, then transfer 15,000 monthly.

It also demanded pressure on the international community and the European Parliament to stop their interventions aimed at settling Syrians in Lebanon.

These calls and statements come in continuation of a series of restrictive steps against Syrians in Lebanon, which intensified after Pascal Salameh, a coordinator for the Lebanese Forces party, was killed on April 9, with Lebanese authorities accusing Syrians of his murder.

Opposition’s Coalition condemns, Regime is late

On April 10, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (Syrian National Coalition) issued a statement condemning the assassination of Salameh, demanding that the responsible authorities in the Lebanese government reveal the actual perpetrators of this reprehensible crime and the entities that planned and executed it, which aims to destabilize Lebanon’s security and stability and to distract public opinion from the core issues and their real perpetrators, by creating sedition and campaigns of hatred and incitement against the innocent Syrian refugees.

The Coalition also condemned the “dangerous wave” of assaults, violations, arbitrary arrests, and mistreatment of the Syrian refugees displaced by war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime and Hezbollah, according to the statement.

The Syrian regime’s comment, which was belatedly posted on April 12 on Facebook by the Syrian embassy in Beirut, referred to the reprehensible attacks that targeted Syrian citizens in Lebanon, contradicting the fraternal relationship between the two countries and demeaning the dignity of both Lebanese and Syrian citizens.

It also blamed donor countries and some international organizations (not named) for not returning Syrians to their homeland and politicizing the displacement file.


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