Head of the Strong Lebanon parliamentary bloc, MP Gebran Bassil, stressed on Saturday that "a country cannot, in principle, prevent the return of its citizens to it, just as it cannot ignore its expatriates and turn to its residents only, but must maintain equality between the two."
"The government must develop a medical, social and financial protocol to secure the return of the Lebanese from abroad," he said, expressing "willingness to help with many aspects."
Bassil also demanded that Syria removes any measure preventing the return of its nationals residing in Lebanon, calling for official contact between Lebanon and Syria to secure this return.
Bassil's words came in an address he delivered this evening, which tackled the issue of Lebanese citizens who wish to return to Lebanon due to the Corona epidemic outbreak in their countries of residence abroad.
"A Lebanese emigrant, possessing the Lebanese citizenship, has the same rights as a Lebanese resident...The right of the Lebanese abroad to return to Lebanon is undisputed, and it is guaranteed by the Constitution," Bassil underscored.
"We are all confident that the government, just as it carries out its duties towards residents, is beginning to perform its duties towards the Lebanese Diaspora," he said, calling for according the cabinet ample time and necessary support to meet its obligations towards all its citizens, away from any political outbidding. "The government must be given an adequate but limited time limit, and the time required to set the return program and its mechanism among these criteria," Bassil maintained.
"The issue requires combined responsibility and patriotism, on one hand, and respect for science and medicine on the other hand, so that Lebanon would overcome, God willingly, with its residents and emigrants, this ordeal," Bassil concluded.