DAMASCUS, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Minister of Reconciliation Ali Haidar said Wednesday that Syria is preparing for the return of refugees from Lebanon, according to state news agency SANA.
Haidar made the remarks when he met with the Lebanese ambassador to Syria, Saad Zakhia, during which Haidar stressed that the preparations are underway for the return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon.
"A Large number of citizens will return soon to their homes in the city of Deir al-Zour, and the southeastern countryside of Aleppo, and the countryside of the capital Damascus, Haidar said.
Zakhia stressed the need for continuous coordination between the two countries in light of the circumstances and changes taking place in the region to find a mechanism for dealing with files of common interest.
As of October 2016, Lebanon hosted 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including 1 million registered with UNHCR, half of them children below 18 years old, along with 31,502 Palestine Refugees from Syria, according to estimates from the Lebanese government.
In October, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said his country can no longer handle vast numbers of Syrian refugees, urging world powers to help the refugees return to the calmer parts of their country.
Last month, Haidar visited areas of Syrian refugees in south Lebanon, calling on the refugees from Aleppo and Hama provinces to return to their home as those areas have become stable.