Lebanon’s pro-Syrian camp wants to coordinate return of refugees with Assad regime

The cabinet convened at the Presidential Palace in Baabda on Wednesday  and was chaired by President Michel Aoun. Its  discussed   mainly the issue of the  Syrian refugees and their return to their homeland and the controversial electricity file.

The meeting comes a day after Aoun’s  Change and Reform parliamentary bloc  called for the return of Syrian refugees to their country and for coordinating the move  with the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad .

“The higher Lebanese interest comes before anything else and this interest necessitates that the refugees return home and it is in the interest of Syrians as well,” Justice Minister Salim Jreissati said after the bloc’s weekly meeting in Rabieh on Tuesday.

“There are no taboos or complexes (regarding communication) with the Syrian state with which we share diplomatic representation,” Jreissati added.

But before the  cabinet session began, Information Minister Melhem Riachi  who represents the Lebanese Forces in the cabinet told reporters that an only “solution for the refugees crisis can be reached through the United Nations.”

All the pro Syrian parties including Hezbollah  have been calling for coordinating  the return of the displaced with the Syrian regime . but the  demand was strongly rejected by other political camps mainly the Future Movement and the Lebanese Forces over fears of returning to the Syrian tutelage

Lebanese Forces Minister of Health Ghassan Hasbani said: “We are committed to what has been agreed with the international community and that is the return of the displaced to the   safe areas of Syria “

Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq stressed that “Lebanon will not return any refugee without international guarantees,” noting that “only the U.N. can specify the safe zones that the refugees can return to according to a paper that was prepared by the previous government and on which all political forces had agreed.”

But the pro Syrian  State Minister for Parliament Affairs Ali Qanso said: “Communicating with the Syrian government is the the shortest way to address the file.”

Lebanon, a country of around 4.5 million people, is hosting about  one and half million Syrian refugees.

Smells a rat

As for the electricity file, Public Works and Transport Minister Youssef Fenianos blasted the  the confusion surrounding it stressing that he he smells a rat : “The Lebanese can sense a kind of shady deal (behind the electricity file plan).”

He was refereeing to the electricity plan suggested by Free Patriotic Movement Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil.

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    On the podium of AltaRoma in Rome was a show of the collection of Lebanese fashion designer Rani Zachem.

    Rani Zachem was born in Beirut. During the civil war his family was forced to move to Nairobi (Kenya). In a foreign country, Rani was inspired by the beautiful colors that surrounded him, and was carried away by aesthetics. He spent hours browsing the fashion magazines his father bought abroad, and he dreamed of becoming part of this world of beauty and glamor that intrigued the future couturier.

    In 1992, after the war in Lebanon, Rani returned to Beirut, where he continued his studies in high school, then received a bachelor’s degree in interior design at the Lebanese American University and graduated from the design school in New York http://www.newsru.co.il/pict/slide/931245.html