Lebanon reaffirms need for ‘voluntary return’ to solve Syrian refugee crisis


Beirut, June 21 (IANS) Top Lebanese officials have reaffirmed the need to implement “a voluntary return” of the Syrian refugees in the country that has reached a “severe level,” media reported.

“It is no longer permissible, morally, humanely, or legally, to ignore the repercussions resulting from the crisis of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon, which must be resolved by a voluntary return to their motherland,” Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said on Tuesday during his meeting with an European Parliament’s delegation.

In a separate meeting with the delegation that arrived in Lebanon on Monday for a five-day visit, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Lebanon hopes to receive “a positive response” to a plan its Foreign Minister presented to a conference held last week in Brussels on finding solutions to the Syrian crisis, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lebanese authorities are in continuous dialogue with European countries and the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees to explain the heavy repercussions of the Syrian presence in Lebanon, Mikati noted.

Lebanon aims to secure a safe return for Syrian refugees to their homeland as the country’s internal security and economic situation can no longer support their stay.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said in early May that there are about two million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the figure threatens to disrupt the structure of Lebanese society.


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