Former Lebanese Interior Minister Brigadier-General (ret.) Marwan Charbel lamented the foreign intervention in Lebanon's affairs regarding politics and the refugees in two TV appearances on April 26, 2023. On an Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) show, he asked what kind of country needs foreign intervention in order to elect a president, form a government, or choose a prime minister. On a show that aired on TeleLiban (Lebanon), he accused European and other foreign countries of inciting the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and indeed paying them "under the table" in order to create "anarchy" in the country. Charbel said that the Syrian refugees in Lebanon constitute a demographic threat to the country, because of their high birthrate and that foreign countries want there to be more Sunnis than Shiites in Lebanon.
Marwan Charbel: "What kind of country is this? What kind of country cannot elect a president or form a government without foreign intervention? We cannot choose our prime minister – or a doorman for that matter – without foreign intervention? What kind of country is this? Let me tell you, as a military man, I do not accept that. I support the [foreign] guardianship."
Interviewer: "You've given up?"
Charbel: "I support the [foreign] guardianship. In the days of the Syrian [control of Lebanon], we knew the identity of the new government before the old government resigned. We knew who the president would be before the incumbent's term was over. Okay, the Syrians are gone now. What should we do?"
Interviewer: "Why does Europe, and the international community as a whole, insist on keeping the displaced Syrians in Lebanon?"
Charbel: "I have an answer for them. They accuse us of being racist. No, my friends. You are racists because you prevent them from coming to Europe. We welcomed them. By all means, you should welcome them now. If you insist on inciting them, by means of your NGOs that you send to Lebanon... They pay the [refugees] under the table. We know that they pay them $400. It's no secret. The Ministry of Social Affairs knows about this. Secret money is coming here to cause anarchy in Lebanon, which is desired by many foreign countries. We have heard these statements. I don't want to repeat them.
"I say to the foreign countries: Beware! If we become upset and stressed, we will open the gates and say to [the refugees]: Go abroad. We are the only ones who are still stopping them.
"Perhaps with time, considering the Syrian [refugees'] birthrate..."
Interviewer: "Their birthrate is high..."
Charbel: "Frighteningly high. According to the latest statistics, out of every five births, one is Lebanese and four are Syrian. What are you trying to do? To change the demographics in Lebanon? You want there to be more Sunnis than Shi'ites? I am saying this out in the open. You want there to be more Sunnis than Shi'ites? Where does this lead us?"