Lebanon News

Bassil to discuss refugee crisis in Athens

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil left for Athens Tuesday to discuss Lebanon’s policy towards Syrian refugees in a summit headed by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Ashton presided over the third Arab-European conference, alongside Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil El-Araby, and the Greek Foreign Minister.

Bassil is planning to discuss Lebanon’s new policy towards Syrian refugees, stressing the need for channeling aid through the government and not supplying it directly to refugees. The minister will also discuss the new decision to revoke the refugee status from individuals repeatedly visiting Syria, and will clarify the decision barring the entry of Syrians who originate from secure regions in the country.

The concern over supplying aid to refugees through the government only has pushed the administration to request a special session to convene in the Arab league over the issue, where Bassil will call on countries to abide to commitments made to the government.

After Athens, Bassil will head to London where he will represent Lebanon in a four-day summit on sexual violence in conflict zones. The event will gather decision makers from 140 states to look into implementation measures for the international declaration to end sexual violence in war zones. The 140 signatories to the declaration aim to launch an international protocol prohibiting this form of sexual assault.





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