Lebanon News

Syria border closure harms Lebanon agriculture: minister

Syrians cross into Lebanon through the Syrian-Lebanese border checkpoint in the eastern village of Masharih al-Qaa, Lebanon, Thursday, March 22, 2012. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)

BEIRUT: Caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said over the weekend that the closure of the borders with Syria has negatively affected the sector in Lebanon.

“The Lebanese industries were harmed by the Syrian closure of borders some 40 days ago. Ten Lebanese factories have closed so far,” said the minister Saturday.

Hajj Hasan said that the factories closed down because they were unable to import primary resources for their production and export their goods to Arab countries.

According to Haj Hasan, the Syrian government decided to shut down the border with Lebanon after some Lebanese groups disrupted the passage of a number of Syria-bound fuel trucks from Lebanon.

He called for such acts to cease because they “harm all the Lebanese whether they support or oppose the Syrian regime.”

Some Lebanese groups have repeatedly protested over the passage of Syria-bound fuel tankers arguing that the fuel helps the regime in Damascus kill its own people.

Farmers have been protesting over increasing difficulties in exporting their produce to the Arab world.

Potato and citrus farmers held a protest Saturday in the northern city of Tripoli over failure to export their products and warned of further demonstrations and sit-ins across Lebanon.

The Lebanese Farmers Association has repeatedly called on authorities to take active steps to allow Lebanese trucks to cross the Syrian border and have accused the Agriculture Ministry of mishandling the issue.





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