YEREVAN (Armenpress) — The government of Armenia is developing a package of regulations that will enable it to “worthily” receiving repatriates from Lebanon after the August 4 Beirut blast, the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan said at a news conference on August 14 after returning from the Lebanese capital where he led a delegation to assess the situation.
“We must be able to worthily receive the people who are willing to come to Armenia, live here, become full members of the society, citizens, taxpayers, soldiers, and try to build the homeland we dream about,” Sinanyan said.
Asked whether Armenia is implementing a repatriation policy for the Lebanese-Armenians, Sinanyan noted that he doesn’t consider this description to be accurate. He said that in the event of repatriation policy it is the government who is creating the conditions which lead to people willing to return, whereas this isn’t the case.
“In this case we are actually in the role of an observer,” he said, noting that the current situation was caused by different accumulating problems in Lebanon.
He pointed out the Lebanese economic crisis, the banking sector’s paralyzed condition, the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the August 4 explosion in Beirut. “And the blast was the last blow. As a result, we have what we have,” Sinanyan said.
In one month, more than 470 Lebanese-Armenians have repatriated to Armenia, Sinanyan said. Of those, 370 arrived on five different flights operated by Middle East Airlines on July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4 and August 11.