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Salam meets Merkel, reiterates Lebanon's refusal to naturalize Syrians

BEIRUT | - May 23, 2016, 12h46

Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, met on Monday with German chancellor, Angela Merkel, at the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit, which is currently taking place in Istanbul, Turkey.

In a an address he had made earlier this morning during a breakfast banquette held in honour of participating delegations, Salam reiterated Lebanon's utter refusal to naturalize Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

"Our country cannot, as per the Lebanese constitution, approve of or accept any act of integrating, naturalizing or even resettling Syrians," the Prime Minister stressed.

He went on to affirm that a political solution was the sole means to end the Syrian conflict.

"We firmly believe that a gradual return of Syrian refugees to safe territories in their homeland will doubtlessly influence the course of reconciliation," the Prime Minister said.

"According to statistics, Syrian refugees are looking forward to return to their homeland. But history has it that the longer they remain as refugees, the less excited they become to go back to their countries of origin," Salam warned, sounding the alarm on this irreversible phenomenon if not swiftly thrashed out.

The Prime Minister stepped up calls on the UN Secretary General to activate the role of UN institutions and garner all the powers possible in a bid to resolve the matter in cooperation with concerned sides.

"This summit is an opportunity to set an incentive among partners and to gather support for millions of people who are in dire need of humanitarian aid," Salam added.

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