U.S. tells Lebanon not to let Syrian refugees vote in "farcical" Syrian elections
Syrian President Bashar Assad will be running against two other candidates in the elections. (AFP/File)
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The U.S. government conveyed a clear message to the Lebanese government asking it not to facilitate the voting process of thousands of Syrians living in Lebanese territories in the Syrian elections slated next month, a U.S. diplomat told As Safir daily on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
“Lebanon's interior minister is required not to issue any supportive statement on behalf of the Lebanese government backing the elections, which comes in commitment to the Baabda Declaration and the dissociation policy adopted by the cabinet since the mandate of PM Najib Miqati,” the source said.
The United States looks at the Syrian elections as a “kind of farce” (as it comes during Syria's three-year-old civil war), said the diplomat and asked “how can these elections take place exclusively in areas controlled by the Syrian regime?”
The diplomat stressed that the international community will not recognize the elections outcome.
Syria's Supreme Constitutional Court named Syrian President Bashar Assad and two others candidates in the coming June presidential elections.
Assad, who is seeking a third seven-year term, will face Hassan bin Abdullah al-Nouri, a 54-year-old lawmaker from Damascus, and 43-year-old Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, a lawmaker from the northern city of Aleppo.
The number of refugees who have fled Syria and registered in Lebanon has exceeded 1 million according to U.N. reports.