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Lebanon to resume returning Syrian refugees to homeland: Minister

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Lebanon to resume returning Syrian refugees to homeland: Minister

Beirut, Feb 11 (IANS) Lebanon will soon resume returning Syrian refugees to their homeland, Lebanese Minister of the Displaced, Issam Charafeddine, said.

“The Lebanese government assigned me to resume return trips of Syrian refugees to Syria by convoys,” Charafeddine said on Saturday, according to a statement released by the Cabinet after a meeting, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We held positive meetings with the concerned parties, especially the new Minister of Local Administration in Syria, and they are committed to this issue,” the Minister added.

In 2022, Charafeddine announced a government plan to repatriate 15,000 Syrian refugees to Syria each month, insisting that “the war is over and the country has become safe”.

However, the plan was never fully implemented amid opposition from the UN refugee agency and European Parliament which maintain that conditions in Syria do not allow for the large-scale return of refugees.

Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with the government estimating around two million Syrian refugees.

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Lebanese authorities have on many occasions called for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria as Lebanon suffers from an unprecedented financial crisis and can no longer bear their presence.

–IANS

int/khz

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