Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon should Live Inside Palestinian State"

Thank goodness he didn't mention 1,700,000 Palestinians living in Jordan!

Beirut, 16 Mar 08
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch has said that both the Palestinian and Lebanese people believe that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon should live "inside a Palestinian state."
"Lebanon has quite a large number of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon," Welch said during a hearing of the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee subject "Israel's disengagement from Gaza."

"And I think Palestinians and Lebanese alike see the future of those people inside a Palestinian state," Welch said. "I Hope that can be realized, because that would, I believe, also help Lebanon."

"I think sometimes when I hear from Lebanese their concern about these folks might be pushed upon them, that presents a lot of issues of insensitivities for Lebanon, particularly at this time," Welch added.

Welch said that getting Lebanon to a better situation is a "very serious enterprise for us."

On Lebanon's presidential crisis, Welch said: "We'd like to see the election there."

"That said, others have been interfering with it and have not allowed it to move forward," Welch said before the Committee. "Some of the things that we have discussed today, which relate to how the Palestinians might decide their future, might have an impact in Lebanon.


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