Breaking News

Lebanon will coordinate refugee returns to Syria only with U.N.: PM Hariri

WorldJul 14, 2017 10:30AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. German Chancellor Merkel and Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri in Berlin

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon will coordinate refugee returns to Syria only with the United Nations, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Friday, days after a number of refugees left for Syria under an agreement brokered by Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah.

Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah group backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in the country's more than six-year-old conflict. It has sent thousands of men to fight the mostly Sunni Syrian rebels and is the dominant force in the Syrian border area where the refugees returned.

"We will only address this issue in close coordination and joint planning with the U.N. and its specialized agencies," Hariri said, adding that a "concerning debate" had emerged surrounding refugee returns.

"We are in support of a speedy and safe return of the Syrian displaced, however, we will, under no circumstances, force the Syrian displaced to return to Syria," he said at a meeting of the government's steering committee for displaced persons.

Lebanese politicians are deeply divided over whether Lebanon should work directly with the Syrian government over the return of refugees, which Hezbollah and its allies advocate.

Lebanon, which suffered its own fifteen-year civil war, has since 2012 followed a policy of neutrality over the Syrian conflict.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in a televised speech urged Beirut to work directly with the Syrian government on refugee returns.

Lebanon's infrastructure and communities have been strained by hosting more than one million Syrian refugees, which make up around a quarter of the country's population.

"The weight of the Syrian displaced crisis has been very heavy on Lebanon. The entire country feels this weight and their presence has aggravated socio-economic indicators," Hariri said.

During the meeting Hariri stressed the importance of improving the health and education services Syrians receive in Lebanon, but said international aid levels were not adequate.

Lebanon will coordinate refugee returns to Syria only with U.N.: PM Hariri

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Write your thoughts here
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post also to:
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Add Chart to Comment
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email