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LEBANON WILL NOT FORCE SYRIAN REFUGEES TO RETURN HOME

Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, stressed that, Lebanon "will never force the displaced Syrians to return home," but support a "speedy and safe" return for them.

He made the remarks during a meeting of the High Level Steering Committee he chaired, in the presence of ministers, the UN special coordinator for Lebanon, representatives of UN agencies and heads of missions of many embassies.

He said, his government is "in support of a speedy and safe return of the displaced Syrians, however, we will, under no circumstances, force the Syrians displaced, to return to Syria."

He also stressed that, this issue will only be addressed in close coordination and joint planning with the UN and its specialised agencies, adding that, "we will make sure that the conditions for their return are properly met and in accordance with international law."

Hariri said, a multi-year capital investment programme, aiming at mitigating the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on Lebanon, "should be finalised very soon," according to a statement by the PM's media office.

He also expressed the commitment and cooperation of the international community, saying that its engagement is crucial, in alleviating pressure of the refugee crisis on Lebanon.

However, Hariri also pointed to a rise in tensions between Syrians and Lebanese, which confirms "host community fatigue" and "our appeal to increase support to them."

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

Source: NAM News Network