Representatives of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon boycotted on Monday a meeting with Labor Minister Kamil Abu Suleiman at the Grand Serail to solve the latest crisis that was triggered by the Ministry’s crackdown on illegal foreign workers in Lebanon.
After holding talks with former minister and head of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee Hassan Mneimneh, Abu Suleiman said he regretted the absence of the Palestinian delegation in the meeting that was held at the request of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
“Holding dialogue in this form through dictating conditions in advance is something we reject, and we hope to deal with each other in a better way,” the Labor Minister said.
Abu Suleiman praised the efforts of Mneimneh to bring about a rapprochement in the point of views.
“I recommended that Palestinians submit their suggestions in written form so we can deal with the issue,” the Minister said.
Abu Suleiman’s measures were initially launched to target Syrian workers in Lebanon in wake of the refugee wave that poured into the country after the eruption of the Syrian conflict in 2011.
In line with its “Combating illegal foreign workers” campaign, the Labor Ministry started lately cracking down on Palestinian workers and issuing legal and financial restrictions against their employers. Under the new restrictions, Palestinian refugees are required to obtain an official permit from authorities.
Since the Ministry’s decision, general strikes were observed at the majority of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon in protest against the measures against foreign workers who do not hold a work permit.
For his part, Mneimneh said on Monday that the meeting with the Labor Minister aimed to find solutions for the case of Palestinian workers in the country.
“Our Palestinian brothers informed us that they have not received any serious solutions for tackling their case,” he said, adding that his committee is following up with the Labor
Minister and Palestinians to find a solution to those workers.