Jebran Bassil Lebanese Foreign Minister has rejected an alleged U.S. plan to “resettle” Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab states, Lebanese daily Al-Joumhouria reported Thursday.
According to Anadolu Agency, Bassil’s remarks came in response to a tweet two days earlier by Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, in which the latter welcomed an alleged plan by U.S. President Donald Trump to “resettle Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq”.
In his tweet, Katz did not give any more details about the alleged U.S. proposal.
Speaking to Al-Joumhouria on Thursday, Bassil stressed his country’s rejection of any such plan.
“Even if the entire world accepted resettlement [of Palestinian refugees], we would reject it,” he was quoted as saying.
“Like we defeated Israel by expelling its occupation [from Southern Lebanon in 2000], we will defeat its resettlement project,” the foreign minister asserted.
“The ‘right of return’ is sacrosanct,” Bassil added, referring to the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
Lebanon is currently home to roughly 590,000 Palestinian refugees (out of some five million worldwide), according to official Lebanese figures.