BEIRUT: Following his meeting with caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Syrian ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali welcomed the coordination between both sets of govermnemts in regards to the return of refugees, while praising the efforts of "President Michel Aoun and head of General Security Gen. Abbas Ibrahim."
"The doors of our embassy are open 24/7 and our governments are in constant contact through both embassies and our respective Foreign Ministers, despite some voices being raised occasionaly with certain alterior motives," he said, in reference to recent comments made by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri during which he blasted Lebanese officials traveling to Syria to meet with officials.
"Some Lebanese politicans are in a hurry to go to Syria before the refugees, I wonder why," the PM tweeted.
The ambassador went to assert that the number of Syrian refugees willing to return is increasing, before maintaining that a new crossing point might be opened following interest from both Jordan and Lebanon.
888 refugees elected to return last week to the Qalamoun region, northeast of Damascus through the Zamarani crossing, under the watchful eye of the Lebanese army and international aid organizations.
Some 400 refugees left Asral on June 28 followed by a further 377 refugees on July 7, with many expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.
The repatriation effort gained traction after the intervention of Russia and the establishment of a "joint Russian-US-Jordanian group, and the formation of a similar group in Lebanon," the head of Russia's National Defense Control Center Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev had said.
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