October 29, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Expatriates and Foreign Affairs minister, Gebran Bassil, held a symposium at “La Sagesse” University in Furn El-Shebak with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, entitled “The crisis of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon and Europe”, stressing need to separate between immigrants for economic reasons and refugees.
Bassil praised the way the Hungarians dealt with the delicate issue of immigration while preserving the interests of their country.
“I am pleased to address the young youth and the distinguished professors in the presence of a Foreign Minister of one of the European Union Countries () who says that we can be politicians and say the truth and protect our country,” Bassil said, adding “what they are facing in Europe we are facing here and it is our responsibility to say the truth no matter how harmful it sometimes might be.”
“It is our right to stay in a country like Lebanon where saying the truth years ago was accused as discrimination,” Bassil underscored, adding “we were accused of discrimination because we preferred the Lebanese nationality on any other one, because we preferred to preserve the right of the Syrian people to live with dignity.”
Bassil indicated that they had stressed that “two million displaced Syrians cannot come to Lebanon, where there are no enough sources for us, as Lebanese, ” and enjoy a dignified life.
“We have to separate between the immigrant for economic causes and the refugee (); and we’ve been discussing this issue for four years with the European Union,” Bassil said, adding that the EU is still rejecting this idea and is ignorant to the fact that they have to deal with a long time crisis which would inflict a lot of harm on them as well as on the Lebanese.
Bassil hoped some European countries would be aware of this fact and realize that the only solution for immigration crisis is to end the war in Syria and the region.
The minister pointed out that this kind of immigration would inflict a big loss on both the Levant and Europe as both would lose their diversity.
Bassil advised Europe not to give up its origins, and called upon the Lebanese to commit to their country heritage, culture and principles “so it would be difficult to drive us away from our roots.”
Bassil concluded by addressing the guest minister “we will work together to protect diversity in Lebanon as well as the Muslim and the Christian together; to protect this unique example. And when the community realizes that preserving the diversified Lebanon would preserve the Middle East and Europe, they would all seek to help us.”
Bassil called to unify efforts to fight all kinds of hatred and terrorism.
In Turn, Szijjarto explained the challenges that currently face Europe on the social, economic and security levels as a result of the immigration crisis.
The Hungarian minister added that the 400 thousand immigrants in his country did not fled their country due to the political situation but to have a better life on the economic level, adding “they are economic immigrants who seek to leave their country not to escape war and security dangers but for economic reasons.”
He confirmed that the solution of this crisis demands first to treat it from its origins and work hard to have a peace and stability in Syria, adding as long as war continues there would not be a solution for mass immigration.
SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON