Lebanese President Michel Aoun called for a swift solution to refugee crisis as he addressed the opening session of the 4th Arab Economic and Social Development Summit which is being held in Beirut.
Briefing the attendees of the current challenges facing the developments in the Arab world, President Aoun said Civil wars, terrorism and displacement had negative effects on development in the region.
“Indeed, the internal wars, the proliferation of the phenomenon of terrorism and extremism, the emergence of unparalleled waves of displaced and refugees since World War II, impacted adversely the course of development which is making its way with difficulty in the region, especially in some States which originally suffered from socio-economic problems,” President Aoun was quoted as saying by the official National News Agency.
The Lebanese president pointed out that Lebanon bears the heaviest burden of the refugee crisis in the region.
“I speak out of experience because Lebanon has paid a high price for wars and terrorism, and it has been shouldering for years the heaviest regional and international burden, of the displacement of the Syrian brothers, in addition to the ongoing presence of the brotherly Palestinian refugees for seventy years, whereas their numbers amount to half of the Lebanese population.”
“Lebanon calls on the international community to exert every possible effort and to ensure the suitable conditions for the safe return of the Syrian displaced to their country, particularly to the accessible stable regions or the de-escalation zones, without linking this return to the political solution, and to offer incentives for the returnees to contribute to the reconstruction and stabilization of their country.”
Speaking further about challenges, he listed threats posed by the Zionist entity.
“On the other hand, the threatening Israeli occupation has being going far for seventy years in the aggression and occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories, disrespecting international resolutions. Its assaults have culminated nowadays in the Judaization of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), its proclamation as the capital of Israel, and the adoption of the Jewish “Nation-State” law for Israel, in disregard for international resolutions, along with the implied usurpation of the Palestinian identity and the attempt to undermine Resolution 194 and the right of return, in addition to the Israeli threats and continuous pressures on Lebanon, as well as the permanent violations of Resolution 1701 and the Lebanese sovereignty, by land, sea and air.”
President Aoun meanwhile called for establishing an “Arab bank for rebuilding conflict-afflicted Arab countries.”
“I hereby put forth my initiative aimed at adopting the strategy of reconstruction for development, calling to set up efficient mechanisms that live up to these challenges and to the requirements of reconstruction, on top of which the establishment of an Arab Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which would assist all the prejudiced Arab States and peoples to overcome their crises, contribute to their sustainable economic growth and the welfare of their peoples, and achieve the sustainable development goals.”