Syria Ready for Return of Refugees From Lebanon, Minister Says
Syria is ready to welcome its refugees from Lebanon, and they will get all the help they need in their home country, a Syrian Cabinet minister said on Monday. Syria’s Minister of Local Administration Hussein Makhlouf made the statement during a meeting in Damascus with Issam Charafeddine, Lebanon’s caretaker minister of the displaced, The Associated Press reported.
“The doors are open for the return of Syrian refugees,” Makhlouf said. He said that shelters have been prepared for those whose homes have been destroyed during the country’s long-running civil war.
Earlier this month Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun agreed with his country’s ministers on the initial steps for the implementation of a plan to send the Syrian refugees back to their home country. Lebanon, a country with about 6.8 million citizens, hosts about 1.5 million Syrian refugees in addition to some 13,700 refugees from other countries, making Lebanon the country with the largest number of refugees per capita in the world. Lebanon is undergoing an unprecedented economic crisis and there is an increasing demand for the Syrian refugees’ return to their home country given the perception that they are a significant strain on Lebanon’s crumbling infrastructure and are exhausting the country’s limited resources.