BEIRUT, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Monday that Syrian refugees will have to leave Lebanon due to the bad economic situation in the country, the presidency's website reported.
"If the international community does not facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, Syrians will escape Lebanon through the Mediterranean Sea to other countries to run away from the deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon," the president said during his meeting at the Baabda Palace with a delegation from the British Royal College of Defense Studies.
Aoun wishes that the international community should change its position by facilitating the return of Syrian refugees.
The international community previously stated its support for individual refugee returns on a voluntary basis, but said it wants to see a political solution to the Syrian crisis before mass returns take place.
More than 1 million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon, while the Lebanese government estimated the true number of Syrians in the country at 1.5 million.
The flow of Syrian refugees to Lebanon has weighed heavily on the country's economy.
A Lebanese official said earlier this month that around 270,000 Lebanese people have lost their jobs after 384,000 Syrian refugees poured into the country's employment market.