BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 16 (NNN-NNA) – Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, said, Syrian refugees in Lebanon should return to their homeland, now that clashes in their country have stopped, the Presidency’s website said.
“We will not wait for a political solution in Syria. We have hosted Syrian refugees for eight years for humanitarian purposes. But now that clashes in Syria have stopped, it is time for the refugees to go back,” Aoun said, during his meeting with a delegation of the European Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF).
Aoun said, the presence of a big number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon for the past eight years has laid a heavy burden on the social, security, medical and economic sectors in the country.
“We call on the international community to focus its aid mainly on returning refugees, to encourage them to go back to their country,” Aoun added.
Roberto Fiori, leader of APF, said, it is time for the international community to find a real solution for the refugee crisis.
Lebanon is hosting 976,000 registered Syrian refugees, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while the Lebanese government estimates the true number of Syrian refugees in the country at 1.5 million.
Filippo Grandi, chief of UNHCR, said last week that, around 165,000 Syrians had returned to Syria from Lebanon.– NNN-NNA