The head of Lebanon’s largest Christian party and son-in-law of the president, Gebran Bassil, warned French President Emmanuel Macron that millions of refugees would flee to Europe if Lebanon collapsed.
Bassil told Macron, who was visiting Beirut following the explosions that killed more than 130 people and wounded over 5,000, that “we do not [forget] the reality of two million refugees and displaced on our land because of unjust wars.”
“Those that we are generously welcoming could flee towards you if Lebanon [collapses],” Bassil said, according to OTV, a TV channel funded by his political party.
معلومات OTV: باسيل لماكرون: لا نغفل واقع وجود مليونيّ لاجئ ونازح على أرضنا نتيجة للحروب غير العادلة. هؤلاء الذين نرحب بهم بسخاء، قد يسلكون طريق الهروب نحوكم في حال تفتت لبنان - https://t.co/6oytNSnfZm pic.twitter.com/gqd3qly2v1— OTV Lebanon (@OTVLebanon) August 6, 2020
The Lebanese government estimates that there are around 1.5 million Syrian refugees in the country and close to 400,000 Palestinian refugees.
Social media users quickly criticized Bassil, who has been accused of racism in the past.
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