Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday told U.N. envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen that Lebanon “can longer bear the repercussions of the Syrian refugee presence on the various social and economic levels.”
“We, as officials, have become worried over the fate of our country,” Aoun told Pedersen during a meeting at the Baabda Palace.
“We have reached the maximum acceptable capacity in shouldering the impact of the refugees' presence, and serious efforts must be exerted to return them to safe areas in Syria, which have become vast now and can accommodate their residents,” the president added.
He also urged the U.N. and international donors to “offer assistance to the Syrians who are returning to their country, especially that there are Syrian regions that remained spared from destruction and accordingly residents can return to them.”
Aoun also pointed out that “more than 172,000 Syrians have returned from Lebanon and we have not received any report indicating that they have faced harassment or inhumane practices.”
Lebanese officials have been calling on Syrian refugees to voluntarily return home since last year.
The UNHCR puts the total number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon at 997,000.
Source: Nahar Net.