BEIRUT: Lebanon should coordinate to distribute refugees into “safe areas” in Syria and in other Arab countries, Cardinal Beshara Rai said Sunday.
“The state should cooperate with the international community so Lebanon does not bear over its capacity, and distribute refugees over the Arab countries and safe areas in Syria,” said Rai in his Bkirki sermon.
He also said Lebanon should observe those who are coming into the country.
“Receiving refugees is a humanitarian duty, but the state should control and monitor the incomers to Lebanon to prevent any infiltration of arms into the country,” the patriarch said.
Last week Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdel-Karim Ali said Syrian officials had discussed with the Lebanese government the return of refugees to areas of Syria the government is rebuilding.
More than 212,000 Syrians have sought help from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, according to its latest figures.
Rai also reiterated his call for a new electoral law that enhances democracy and Muslim-Christian partnership in the country.
“The Lebanese people are looking forward to a new electoral law that should not serve to increase sectarianism, but boost democracy and Muslim-Christian partnership in the country,” said Rai in his Sunday Sermon from Bkirki.
Rai also said that a new electoral law should not aim increase the number of people’s representatives in the country.
Lebanon’s rival parties are yet to agree over a new law for the coming parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in June 2013.