On Monday, Nabil al-Halabi, head of the Lebanese organization Life, warned the new government in Lebanon against harming the security of Syrian refugees. Halabi described the new Lebanese government as the Government of Bashar al-Assad (the Syrian regime’s head) and the Government of Hezbollah.
“Western countries supporting this (new Lebanese) government bear the main responsibility if the security of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is compromised, following the statement of the government of Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah from Baabda’s [presidential] Palace today,” Halabi said.
Halabi called on Syrian opposition figures in the United States and France to “engage in more effective advocacy directed at parliaments and governments in both countries.”
Halabi said it was crucial not to allow governments to “keep the Syrian regime afloat, undermine the judicial process in the Beirut port case, and protect the corrupt.”
Many Lebanese sources have confirmed that most of the new government’s members are considered loyal to both Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.
Two days ago, the new Lebanese government was formed, after nearly a year of procrastination. The same Lebanese sources indicated that a new phase will begin, comprising of ministers starting to extradite and repatriate [Syrian refugees].
The new government is holding its first session Monday at the Baabda Palace. The session will focus on preparatory work for establishing a small ministerial committee. This committee will prepare the ministerial statement, which will serve as the basis on which the government will gain the parliament’s confidence.
The first difficult test facing the new government will be fuel shortages in the local market. The central bank, Banque du Liban (BDL), has refused to extend lines of credit for oil vessels anchored at Lebanese ports.
Lebanon is home to nearly a million Syrian refugees, according to unofficial statistics. Lebanese authorities state that as many as 1.5 million Syrian refugees face extremely poor economic conditions [in Lebanon].
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.