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Lebanese Prez agrees on initial steps for Syrian refugees' repatriation

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Beirut, Aug 9 (Ajit Weekly News) Lebanese President Michel Aoun has agreed on the initial criteria and steps to be adopted for the implementation of a strategy for the repatriation of Syrian refugees.

“We have agreed with President Aoun on many points related to the Syrian refugees’ return plan, and we coordinated our positions hoping to hold more meetings next week to agree on the basic steps to be taken to start with the return process,” said Minister of Social Affairs Hector Hajjar, following his meeting with the President and the Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

Hajjar assured that coordination with Syria on the matter is still ongoing and has never stopped, reports Xinhua news agency.

On July 4, Lebanon announced a plan to repatriate 15,000 displaced Syrians monthly but is yet to secure a written approval from the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR) which insisted that Syria is not safe for return.

Lebanon has insisted on implementing its plan regardless of the UN position as the country suffers from an unprecedented financial crisis and the presence of a big number of refugees which weighs heavily on the economy and infrastructure.

Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita in the world, with an estimated 1.5 million Syrians and some 13,715 of other nationalities.

–Ajit Weekly News

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