Lebanon's efforts to facilitate Syrian refugee return: A step towards breakthrough

News Bulletin Reports
2023-06-25 | 11:50
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Lebanon's efforts to facilitate Syrian refugee return: A step towards breakthrough
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3min
Lebanon's efforts to facilitate Syrian refugee return: A step towards breakthrough

In the recent Brussels conference, the European Union hindered the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland with European assistance.

 

However, away from international obstacles, Lebanon is attempting to create a breakthrough that aligns with the return plan formulated by the Lebanese government.

 

As part of these efforts, Caretaker Minister of the Displaced Issam Sharafdin visited Damascus on Saturday, where he met with the Syrian ministers of local administration and interior.

 

During the meeting, Sharafdin proposed the formation of a tripartite committee consisting of Lebanon, Syria, and the UNHCR, from which subcommittees would be established in Syrian villages.

 

The role of these committees is to monitor and document the return process, primarily to ensure a safe return and address any gaps, and secondly to end misinformation campaigns. Sharafdin reported that the Syrian side welcomed the idea.

 

According to the plan of the Ministry of the Displaced, the desired objective was to return 15,000 displaced individuals per month, while only 1,200 individuals were registered with their names in the past month.

 

In response, the Syrian side confirmed Syria's readiness to receive 180,000 displaced individuals per month, providing suitable housing, and having 480 shelter centers across Syria.

 

The issue of repatriating Syrian prisoners in Lebanon to complete their sentences in their home country was also discussed during the meeting with the Syrian Minister of Interior.

 

Sharafdin mentioned a list of 250 convicted individuals who expressed their desire for repatriation.

 

The Syrian Minister of Interior promised to raise the matter with the relevant authorities as it requires a presidential decision.

 

It should be noted that the safe return plan formulated by the government stipulates the creation of lists of individuals willing to return and sharing of their data with the Syrian government.

 

Individuals wanted for criminal offenses or military service will decide for themselves. However, political refugees will not be returned.

 

Apart from that, Lebanon will not stand idly waiting for the decision of the international community, according to ministry sources.

 

The government's Security Committee oversees the issue and intends to visit Damascus.

 

The timing of the visit depends on two factors: reviewing the outcomes of Sharafdin's visit and being informed of the results reached by the Arab Six-Party Committee, upon which appropriate actions will be taken.

 
 
 

News Bulletin Reports

Lebanon

Syria

Refugees

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