Here are the top stories for Lebanon today:
Geagea: No one can pressure Lebanon into refugee resettlement
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stressed on Saturday during an interview with the Anadolu news agency that no one can impose a refugee resettlement in Lebanon as part of a US “peace” plan for the Middle East.
The so called ‘Deal of the Century’, was born dead before it’s declaration. No one can pressure Lebanon into a refugee resettlement because it is a matter of sovereignty for the Lebanese state ,” said Geagea.” “Speaking about the deal of the century at present is premature. We can not judge it before it is made public,” said Geagea, noting that Lebanon will never accept a resettlement if the deal shows such plans “this will not happen,” he said.
Addressing the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, he said “Lebanon’s position is not divided over the need to return the displaced to their country. Lebanon is a country with 4 million people and can no longer afford a million or a million and a half refugees on its land.” He accused the Syrian regime of fabricating excuses to allow it to cherry pick those that can return while rejecting the return of others.”
According to a report by the New York Times Trump’s peace plan calls for financial incentives to induce the Palestinians and their allies to make political concessions ( such as the right of return to their homes in Palestines) to resolve the decades-old conflict with Israel. The plan if accepted by all parties will be paid for mainly by the Arab Gulf States. Palestinian leaders rejected the plan accused Trump of being biased pro Israel, called the plan ” dead on arrival”
AMAL Movement criticizes Bassil, accuses him of bullying others, overstepping boundaries of acceptable behavior
Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Saturday that the AMAL Movement criticized Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil saying “he acts as if he has the final word in all the files,” the Saudi . “Bassil does not specifically target (AMAL chief and Speaker Nabih) Berri, but he acts as if he has the final say in all the files and has the right to intervene and impose what he wants,” AMAL sources told the daily .The Cabinet has held around 18 sessions to finalize the budget and several parties have accused Bassil of hindering the discussions with side proposals.
Lebanon denies forcing Syrians home from Beirut airport
Lebanese security forces on Saturday denied accusations by rights groups that they had coerced Syrians who had landed at Beirut airport into signing forms to return to their war-torn country. Human Rights Watch and four other groups Friday accused Lebanon of “summarily deporting” at least 16 Syrians on April 26, after forcing them to sign “voluntary repatriation forms”.Most of them had been sent back to Lebanon after they were barred from entering northern Cyprus via Turkey, quashing their plans to seek asylum, HRW said.