French President Emmanuel Macron asserted on Monday with his guest Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who is on an official trip to Paris, that conditions were not yet suitable for the safe return of the Syrian refugees to their country, revealing contradictions in the file of the Syrian war and the fate of the refugees.
Macron, however, promised organizing three conferences to support Lebanon: A donor conference to encourage investment, a conference for the Syrian refugees and another one to aid the Lebanese Army in coordination with Italy and the UN.
French presidential sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the donor conference that Paris is planning to hold in the next few months in Beirut concerning the Syrian refugees “does not aim to push for their return to Syria or to speed it up, but rather to lessen the burdens placed on Lebanon and to discuss their needs and the means of accepting them in the hosting environments.”
For his part, reading a paper after his meeting with the French President, Aoun said: "I pointed out to Macron the need to plan the return of the Syrian refugees to their country, particularly that the most areas from where they came is now safe. In this case, we can’t wait for them to voluntarily leave Lebanon.”
The Lebanese president added that Syrian refugees “are living in a difficult situation."
Same as in every occasion, Macron stressed that France is keen on Lebanon’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.
During a joint press conference at the Elysee, the French president saluted the bravery of the Lebanese Army in fighting terrorism,” but added that it does not mean the end of the terrorist threats in Lebanon.
“France’s goal is to confront the dangers that undermine peace in Lebanon by strengthening the capabilities of the army so the Lebanese government can take control of the entire territory,” he said.