Lebanon

Aoun calls for return of Syrian refugees to 'safe zones'

Syrian refugee children walk at an unofficial refugee camp in the village of Deir Zannoun in Lebanon's Bekaa valley on January 31, 2017. (AFP Photo)
Syrian refugee children walk at an unofficial refugee camp in the village of Deir Zannoun in Lebanon's Bekaa valley on January 31, 2017. (AFP Photo)
| Associated Press | February 3, 2017 at 19:06

BEIRUT: President Michel Aoun has urged the international community to facilitate the return of refugees from Lebanon to Syria by setting up "safe zones" in coordination with the Lebanese government.

Aoun made his comments Friday during a meeting with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Lebanon is home to some 1.5 million Syrian refugees, equivalent to one-third of its own population.

However, Aoun said Lebanon will not force any refugees to return to Syria amid insecure and unstable conditions. He expressed support for a political solution in Syria and combatting "terrorists".

Syria had expressed concern over such safe zones which U.S. President Donald Trump had previously expressed interest in creating, saying they would have to be set up in coordination with the Syrian government.

 



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