“What worries us, in addition to the emigration of our people, is the increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons, who have reached half the population of Lebanon, and this reality constitutes a heavy economic burden on Lebanon and a political, demographic, security and cultural danger. And if you do not return, you will be the ones who start the second war by destroying your culture and history, and we demand that with all our love.”
With this position, which he expressed during his visit to the Economic and Social Council on September 29, 2021, Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai re-posed the issue of the Syrian presence in Lebanon, after major transformations took place in this issue, which led to the results that the Patriarch followed, which are very dangerous results, in their national and social dimensions. .
From a national and political point of view, there is no longer any doubt that the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has lost its survival elements, for many reasons, the most important of which is that the overwhelming majority of Syrian refugees have settled their situation with the ruling regime in Damascus, and this large segment has now entered Syrian territory and returned from it to Lebanon, without any problems or harassment.
With this, all Syrians who entered Lebanese territory under the pretext of fleeing the war in their country have lost the status of asylum or displacement, and this was previously confirmed by the government of President Tammam Salam, and made the issue of safe entry into Syria the decisive issue in the removal or confirmation of refugee status.
Lies of the ruling coalition in the issue of return
It is strange that the successive governments in which Hezbollah and its ally the Free Patriotic Movement, and with the presence of President Michel Aoun in the presidency, did not apply the standard of safe entry into Syria, and this would have reduced the number of Syrians in Lebanon to more than half at least, However, this alliance was a lot of “purchasing” and far from implementation.
In light of this fact, the question arises:
Why does President Michel Aoun continue to raise the issue of Syrian refugees on every occasion and at every political crossroads, when he knows that there is no objection to their return other than the will of the Syrian regime, which is split into two dimensions:
The first dimension: a demographic strategist
And it is that Bashar al-Assad, who previously spoke of a “harmonious Syrian society,” does not want hundreds of thousands of Sunni refugees to return to Syria, even if most of them settle their situation. , through external displacement, and manipulation of the demographic map inside Syria.
The second dimension: financial and economic
The regime’s finances benefit from the money that Syrians earn in Lebanon, whether through international aid in US dollars, or through their various commercial, agricultural and industrial businesses, from which the Syrian embassy arrives, through its collections in the Lebanese regions, fixed and numbered ratios.
Syrian generations do not know their country: Lebanon is ours
Syrian generations are born in the thousands in Lebanon, some of which are registered, and some are not. A large part of these people do not know Syria, for they were born in our country, and they have no practical connection to their homeland except the absent or absent identity, and they are accustomed to life here, and they are associated with interests and businesses And the nature of life makes our country for them the right environment for survival.
On the other hand, there are those who educate them that Lebanon is their country and they have the “right” to stay and dominate it and over it. The Syrian security system was able to establish a network of polarization and control, which clearly appeared in one of its manifestations in Miniyeh, when the tents of the Syrian workers were set on fire in late December 2020, when weapons appeared in the hands of some Syrians loyal to the regime, and a delegation from the Syrian embassy attended and performed a political show, claiming Defending the interests of the Syrians in Lebanon.
Blackmail the world for reconstruction
At the international level, the Syrian regime wants to blackmail the whole world in the issue of the return of refugees, in order to drag the man of the international community towards paying money, to rebuild Syria, which it destroyed with its barrel bombs, exterminated its people and expelled them to the farthest corners of the earth. Russia has tried to lure the United States, the Europeans, and the Arabs in this direction, but it failed due to the absence of the prospect of a political settlement, which would establish a reasonable degree of political stability based on demographic facts, and not on breaking it through killing, displacement and displacement.
Undisclosed Syrian army
Patriarch Al-Rahi’s proposal is the most accurate approach at this stage, and if President Najib Mikati wants to open a loophole in this wall, he has no choice but to return to the decision of Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s government, and start returning everyone who has the ability to safely enter Syria, and this is a sovereign decision. It is supposed to suit everyone who calls for a solution to the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, so that the country does not fall into the hands of a Syrian army that is waiting for the signal of action to pounce on the Lebanese entity, and this is one of the most dangerous challenges that multiply in one moment on this afflicted country.