Lebanon's Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati urged France and the international community Monday to help Lebanon cope with the influx of Syrian refugees into its territory, saying the country was unable to bear alone the heavy burdens of this humanitarian issue.
Mikati, currently visiting Paris, made the plea during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
“Lebanon can no longer alone endure the heavy pressure caused by this [refugee] issue at the demographic, humanitarian and economic levels,” he told Fabius, according to a statement released by Mikati’s office.
The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said recently it had registered 428,000 Syrians in Lebanon so far, in addition to the 40,000 Palestinian refugees who have fled the violence from Syria to Lebanon.
Mikati also stressed the need for France to continue supporting the government’s plan to bolster the Lebanese Army’s capabilities, including training and equipment.
For his part, Fabius restated France’s commitment to Lebanon’s independence and sovereignty. “We will support you in all fields to preserve stability in Lebanon,” he told Mikati.
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