Lebanon Will Not Force Syria Refugees to Return

Lebanon Will Not Force Syria Refugees to ReturnLebanon Will Not Force Syria Refugees to Return

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said that his country would not force Syrian refugees to return home.

Hariri made the announcement speech at a donor conference in Beirut calling for $2.68 billion in humanitarian aid for the crisis this year, Middle East Monitor reported.

“We want the refugees to live in a dignified way, to take their children to school and to have this generation of Syrians return to rebuild their country,” he said.

Stressing that Lebanon would abide by international law, Hariri said that refugees would only return “once favorable conditions are available”.

“My government’s position is very clear. Nobody’s going to force anyone to go back if they don’t want to go back,” he said.

He also pointed out the help that Lebanon had already delivered to Syrians in the country through their cooperation with the UN.

“Our situation is much better than some countries that did not allow these refugees to enter, at least we opened our doors, and we saw the fear and despair in their eyes and the reality of the conflict of their country.”

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon Philippe Lazarini echoed the prime minister’s statement, but warned that Lebanese society is witnessing “increasing fatigue” as a result of the refugee crisis. He highlighted that such concern may turn into anger and tension between different segments of society, amid great pressures on employment opportunities, if not addressed by the government.

One million Syrian refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Lebanon, and the number of Syrians in the country is expected to be much higher as there are thousands of unregistered families and many more who are awaiting formal recognition. They make up one quarter of the country’s population.



Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints