Lebanon to deal with Syria on return of refugees

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-03 02:19:09|Editor: yan
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BEIRUT, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said Saturday that the newly appointment Minister of the Displaced Ghassan Atallah will communicate directly with Syria to discuss the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

"We have a new minister capable of communicating directly with Syria and with the international community about the return of refugees to their homeland," Bassil was quoted as saying by the National News Agency.

He made the remarks during a meeting for his party, the Free Patriotic Movement, aimed at discussing the achievements that will be made by the new government.

Bassil said that Lebanon will not go into any disputes with Syrian refugees on this issue because the Lebanese and the Syrians both agree on the necessity of the return of refugees to their homeland.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced last year that Lebanon will not negotiate directly with Syria on the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Meanwhile, Bassil assured that the Ministry of the Displaced will witness a new way and new approaches of dealing with the refugees' crisis.

Lebanon is hosting 976,000 registered Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, while the government estimates the true number of Syrian refugees in the country at 1.5 million.

The Arab Economic and Social Development Summit concluded in the Lebanese capital on Jan. 20 with the Beirut Declaration calling on the international community to support Arab countries hosting Syrian refugees and encourage Syrian refugees to return to their country.