Got a story? Call 01273 544544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reigate MP visits Lebanon to see plight of Syrian refugees
Reigate MP Crispin Blunt has visited Lebanon to see first-hand the plight of Syrian refugees there.
Mr Blunt was in Lebanon last week in a cross-party delegation with Ian Lucas MP, shadow Middle-East minister, and Chris Doyle, director of the Council for the Advancement of Anglo-Arab Understanding (CAABU).
Mr Blunt visited a make-shift encampment close to the Lebanese town of Bar Elias. The small area of land, rented to the refugees by a local farmer, is home to 100 families, displaced by the ongoing conflict. The area lacks sewage facilities and other basic amenities.
The Reigate MP spoke with a father and son who fled the bloody siege at Homs in western Syria.
After visiting the camp, Mr Blunt said: "Most of Syria's neighbours are doing what they can to meet the dire humanitarian need brought on by the continuing exodus of refugees from Syria. “Britain can be proud of the help it is giving these countries.”
He continued: “It is estimated that Lebanon alone has around 800,000 refugees.
“The international community must come to an agreed view on the political way forward. “This must include Russia and Iran, and the West should enable, not obstruct, these countries' necessary participation in any settlement. “That way, they will be forced to face up to their responsibilities."
Mr Blunt met with British officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development in Lebanon to discuss the situation in Syria and Lebanon. The delegation also met senior Lebanese leaders from most of the local political groups.