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Minister of Lebanon defends Syrian refugees returning to their country

MOSCOW - The Lebanese government understands that the situation in neighboring Syria has improved, there is stability in many parts of the country and there is no reason for Syrian refugees on Lebanese territory not to return to their homeland, said on Monday in Moscow. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yebran Basil.
 
"Conditions in Syria have improved and there are more and more regions where stability and security have been achieved. So we see no reason for Syrian refugees to remain on Lebanese territory, "Basil said after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
 
The head of Lebanese diplomacy praised Russia's move to boost the return of refugees to Syria as the Bashar al-Assad government regained control of virtually the entire country, with the notable caveat of the Idlib region bordering Turkey.
 
Basil recalled that Lebanon's position has always been to address the return of the refugees and the political process separately.
 
"Given that the Russian initiative (on the return of refugees) is the first international proposal in this regard, Lebanon certainly supports it. We agree that the permanence of Syrian refugees in the countries that received them is a negative trend, "said the Lebanese minister.
 
At the same time, Basil stressed, it is necessary to prevent "Syrian refugees from being used as a political asset" in the Syrian election campaign.
 
Lavrov stressed that "conditions already exist for refugees to begin to return, and it is counterproductive to make demands that make it difficult for refugees to return home today and rebuild their nation."
 
In that context, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the United States of hindering the return of the refugees by refusing to put on the table a program for the reconstruction of Syria before progressing in the political organization of the conflict.
 
"These preconditions are placed by the US only for the Syrian-controlled regions, free from the Islamic State, Al Nusra and other terrorists. As for the areas controlled by the US-backed opposition, especially on the east bank of the Euphrates River, no conditions are set. On the contrary, there reconstruction work is in full swing, "Lavrov said.
 
Segs: Exame
 

 

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