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Aoun tackles Syrian refugee dossier with visiting US work group

President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, on Monday met at Baabda palace with a delegation of the US work group tasked by the Congress to evaluate the situation in Syria.

During the meeting, Aoun explained to his guests Lebanon's position from the Syrian crisis and its ramifications.

The return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Syria can not await a political solution to the Syrian crisis and the end of international disputes over the Syrian situation, especially as the influx of Syrian refugees has left negative repercussions on all the Lebanese sectors, Aoun told his visiting delegation.

The President went on to brief his visiting delegation on Lebanon's belief that Syrian areas, with the exception of the governorate of Idlib and its environs, were now stable and could be safely inhibited by returning refugees.

In response to the delegation's questions, President Aoun stressed that "Lebanon continues to organize return trips for refugees in coordination with the Syrian authorities, who welcome their return. No information has been received about harassment incidents against any of the returning refugees.

During the meeting, which was attended by Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Salim Jreissati, the president also stressed Lebanon's commitment to the implementation of resolution 1701, focusing on the existing cooperation between the Lebanese army and UNIFIL to stabilize the southern border.

He thanked the US for the support which it is had provided to the Lebanese Army in the areas of training and equipping, especially during the period of confronting terrorists along the Lebanese-Syrian border. "

In turn, head of the group, Ambassador Federic Hof, said that he would raise at the end of its meetings with Lebanese officials a report on the ideas, positions, and proposals to resolve the Syrian crisis and its consequences.

Separately, President Michel Aoun welcomed at Baabda palace Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta to Lebanon, Bertrand Besancenot, with whom he discussed the ongoing preparations for the imminent Lebanon visit of the organization's high commissioner.

Source: National News Agency