BEIRUT, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Ramzi Moucharafieh said on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad approved a strategy drafted by Lebanon for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, MTV local TV channel reported.
"President al-Assad approved a strategy for the return of refugees from Lebanon and I was going to submit this strategy to the council of ministers, but then the COVID-19 issue began and the borders have been closed," Moucharafieh said in a televised interview.
Moucharafieh said that he informed the Syrian authorities of the strategy during a visit to Syria.
More than 1 million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon, while the Lebanese government estimated the exact 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 and infrastructure, prompting the Lebanese officials to work hard to secure the return of refugees to their homeland.