Lebanon calls for scraping debt over 'refugee burden'

GMT 17:39 2015 Thursday ,25 June

Arab Today, arab today Lebanon calls for scraping debt over 'refugee burden'

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil
Beirut - MENA

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called on the international community to take distinct measures to ease the burden on Lebanon due to refugees living in the country.

"The crisis requires unique solutions by the international community such as scraping Lebanon's public debt,” Bassil said at the Review of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) conference held in Beirut.

Lebanon’s public debt is on the rise, swelling to $66 billion in 2014.

He also called on international organizations to purchase Lebanese agricultural exports to benefit host communities tending to Syrian refugees.

Bassil voiced his fears over Lebanon's ability to cope with the mass influx of refugees, noting that the country "hosts around 200 refugees in every 2 kilometers squared, while simultaneously confronting armed conflicts along its border."

Lebanon currently hosts around 1.5 million Syrian refugees, according to the state's estimates.

The minister also warned of the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on neighboring countries, calling for cooperation to "dry out" the sources that financially and ideologically promote extremism.


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