The Finance and Budget Committee, under the chairmanship of MP Ibrahim Kanaan, on Monday convened to review two legislative proposals aimed at regulating the legal status of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The session included the proposed law for organizing temporary residency and deportation processes for Syrian refugees. The meeting was attended by Caretaker Ministers Issam Charafeddine of Displaced Persons and Hector Hajjar of Social Affairs, alongside several MPs and senior officials.

Post-session, Kanaan announced, “We approved the proposal setting a three to nine-month period to regularize the status of those who entered Lebanon illegally. All interactions between General Security and the UNHCR will be regulated under this law within specified deadlines. General Security will have the authority to accept or reject applications. The maximum period for regularization will involve seeking asylum in a third country, with the UNHCR coordinating with the government and General Security in accordance with intern
ational agreements.”

Kanaan also noted that the committee had adopted amendments from the Administration and Justice Committee, with a minor adjustment to Article 6, changing “General Security Directorate may issue necessary instructions to the UNHCR” to “General Security Directorate shall issue,” making compliance mandatory.

Article 7 prohibits individuals who entered illegally from applying for asylum with the UNHCR after two months.

Article 8 requires the UNHCR to weekly submit asylum applications with original documents to General Security’s special categories division.

Article 10 allows General Security to issue a three-month temporary movement permit to asylum seekers pending UNHCR’s decision.

Violators of the permit conditions face imprisonment of one week to three months and fines ranging from three to ten times the official minimum wage.

Addressing the rationale behind these measures, Kanaan stated, “Without stringent penalties, specific timeframes, and cooperation between the government and UN
HCR, these regulations would be ineffective. Both the Finance and Budget and the Administration and Justice Committees are aligned, and the proposal will proceed to the General Assembly as there are no discrepancies between the committees.”

He emphasized the importance of a legislative session to finalize these laws, which are crucial for addressing the financial, economic, demographic, and security impacts of the unregulated presence of refugees.

Moreover, Kanaan confirmed that non-compliant refugees would be deported after the stipulated grace period for legal status regularization. “Lebanon is not a free-for-all land. The government’s responsibility is to enforce laws related to refugees strictly. The number of refugees now exceeds half the Lebanese population, and it’s imperative to apply these laws. Failing to do so is a greater crime against Lebanon.”

Kanaan finally concluded by urging the UNHCR to adhere to international agreements and Lebanese laws. “Waiting for the international community to resol
ve our issues is futile. The more we ease their burden, the more they will prefer to keep the refugees in Lebanon. It is our priority to address this situation independently.”

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon


The Lebanese diaspora demonstrated with the participation of MPs Pierre Bou Assi and Elias Stephan in front of the Palace of Justice in Brussels ahead of the displaced Syrians conference, to demand that Syrians not be kept in Lebanon.

The demonstrators carried banners that “denounced the repercussions of this illegal presence in Lebanon on the security, economic and social levels, as well as on the country’s sovereignty and identity.”

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon


Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Monday met at the Grand Serail with UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, General Aroldo Lazaro.

Premier Mikati presented with Commander Lazaro the security situation in the south, the ongoing preparations to submit the periodic report to the UN Security Council regarding the implementation of Resolution 1701, and the existing coordination between UNIFIL and the army.

The meeting took place in the presence of Premier Mikati’s Advisor, Ambassador Boutros Assaker.

Premier Mikati also met with Caretaker Defense Minister Maurice Sleem, with whom he discussed the security situation in the country and matters related to the Ministry of Defense.

Premier Mikati later met with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, in the presence of UNRWA’s Director in Lebanon, Dorothy Klaus, and the Chairman of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC) Bassel Al-Hassan.

Premier Mikati was
briefed on the general financial conditions of UNRWA.

The Prime Minister then received a delegation from the ‘Independents for Lebanon’ Gathering, which included the Gathering’s Secretary-General Rafi Madayan and a number of Gathering members.

Mikati later received former Minister of Information Walid Daouk.

Among Premier Mikati’s itinerant visitors for today had been media figure, Ibrahim Awad, who presented him with his new book, and handed him an invitation to the book signing ceremony on May 30 in Tripoli.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Commends HM the King’s Sustained Efforts to Defend Al-Quds

Algiers – The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union commended the sustained efforts of HM King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, to defend the Holy City as well as the actions undertaken by the Kingdom to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinian populations in Gaza and Al-Quds.

In the final declaration of the 36th Congress, held on May 26-27 in Algiers, the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union welcomed the continuous and sustained efforts of HM the King, Chairman of the Al Quds Committee, to defend the Holy City and to preserve its legal status and its historical and civilizational character.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union also hailed the Kingdom’s continued efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinian populations in Gaza and the Holy City to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed on them.

The Moroccan Parliament, represented by a delegation from the national parliamentary section led by Mohamed Sibari, first deputy-Speaker of the House of Representatives, participated in the 34th session of
the APU Executive Committee, as well as meetings of the standing committees, namely the Committee on Palestine, the Committee on the Political Affairs and Parliamentary Relations and the Committee on Social Affairs, Women, Children and Youth.

In addition to examining the reports of previous sessions and the activities of the Secretariat-General since the 35th Congress, this session looked into the current challenges facing the Arab region, particularly the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse


House Speaker, Nabih Berri, on Monday received at the Second Presidency in Ain El-Tineh, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka, who paid him a farewell visit upon winding her diplomatic mission in Lebanon.

Speaker Berri also received US Ambassador to Lebanon, Lisa A. Johnson, with whom he discussed the general situation in Lebanon and the region, and the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Berri later met with former MP Albert Mansour, over the latest political developments.

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

Morocco Fully Supports Initiatives to Establish Safe, Resilient Cyberspace (Official)

Marrakech – Morocco fully supports initiatives aimed at establishing a “safe”, “secure” and “resilient” cyberspace, Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of National Defense Administration, Abdellatif Loudiyi, said Monday in Marrakech.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Africa Cybersafe Symposium, held on May 27-28 in Marrakech, at the initiative of the Directorate-General of Information Systems Security (DGSSI), under the National Defense Administration, Loudiyi stressed that Morocco has always called for further cooperation between countries in the field of computer security, adding that in this seminar, “our country demonstrates its full support for initiatives aimed at establishing a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace, and reaffirms its commitment to an African Continent that takes full advantage of the opportunities offered by the use of new information and communication technologies’.

“Today, we have not only gathered to debate, but also to lay the foundations for a resilient A
frica facing cybersecurity challenges,’ Loudiyi said, noting that the digital transition to which ‘we all aspire, remains dependent on the efforts that we will make to establish an environment of trust to facilitate this transition.”

Morocco, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, has always paid particular interest to the issues of digitalization and digital trust. The implementation of the first national cybersecurity strategy devised in 2012 has enabled our country to make tangible progress in strengthening the resilience of the national cyberspace and improving the security of our information systems, the Minister recalled.

He added that the commitment and determination of all stakeholders have been crowned by an improvement in our position in the global cybersecurity index of the International Telecommunications Union.

The 2030 national cybersecurity strategy, adopted this year, reflects a strong ambition to consolidate the achievements and build on the achievements accompli
shed so far, the minister pointed out, adding that “our ambition is to put all the ingredients on our side to support the digital transformation considered as a genuine lever for economic and social development’.

Organized in implementation of the High Royal Instructions, the Africa Cybersafe Symposium, held on the sidelines of GITEX Africa 2024, brings together more than 450 Arab and African participants including public decision-makers, business leaders, government officials, professionals of cybersecurity, as well as researchers and academics.

Source: Agence Marocaine De Presse