Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has called on the Lebanese government to open the sea routes for Syrian migrants to go to Europe, as a way to alleviate Lebanon from their protracted presence.

“A courageous national decision should be taken to open the sea to the voluntary departure of displaced Syrians towards Europe,” Nasrallah said on Monday, two days before parliament is set to debate plans and proposals for returning them to their homeland.

“That is a way to put pressure on the European Union and the United States, which are obstructing their return home,” he said, accusing international organizations and NGOs financed by the EU of encouraging the Syrians to remain in Lebanon by providing them with financial support, schooling and medical coverage. 

He made the comments in a speech commemorating the death of senior Hezbollah operative, Mustafa Badreddine, who was accused by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of involvement in the explosion that killed former Prime Minister Rafi Hariri. He said for Lebanon to secure the repatriation of more than 2 million Syrians, the majority of whom are residing illegally, “it is inevitable to communicate with the Syrian government.”

He argued that “since there is a national consensus on addressing the issue of displaced Syrians in Lebanon,” official delegations should be sent out to convince the Europeans to lift the sanctions on the Syrian Regime, and the US to abrogate the Caesar Act, which sanctions any dealings with Damascus, in order to enable Syria to prepare the ground for the return of the refugees.

The head of the Iranian-backed party also highlighted in his speech what he dubbed the “victories” that have been achieved in the eighth month of “al-Aqsa Flood” operation launched by Hamas against Israel on October 7.

“Today, Palestine and the Palestinian people have become the talk of the globe, and despite Israel’s manipulations the world is talking about a Palestinian state, and that no solution is possible without a state for the Palestinians, a matter that is scaring the Israelis,” Nasrallah said, in reference to the United Nations General Assembly’s majority vote on May 10 in favor of the adhesion of the Palestinians to the UN.

Nasrallah reiterated once again the irrevocable link between Hezbollah’s so-called support front for Gaza in southern Lebanon and the war in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

“France and the US have acknowledged the fact that the link between the southern front and Gaza is irreversible, as no pressures, or intimidation, or threats could succeed to severe that link.”

Addressing Israeli settlers who were displaced since Hezbollah opened the southern front, he said, “If you want to go back to northern Israel, go and tell your government to stop the war in Gaza.”


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