BEIRUT: Following the United Nations's dismissal of the mass return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, George Chaaban, the personal representative of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, met Wednesday with Russian Special Envoy to the Middle East and North Africa Mikhail Bogdanov to discuss the ongoing efforts to secure the necessary conditions for their return.
Talks touched on the situation in Syria and the ongoing refugee crisis after the UN said it was too early to talk about a mass return of Syrian refugees because the war-torn country is still too dangerous.
Chaaban and Bogdanov also tackled the current government paralysis, which has led to an extended delay in the formation of a new Cabinet.
Russia has taken a leading role in facilitating the return of refugees following the summit between U.S President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladamir Putin.
The Kremlin is seeking to establish a joint Russian-US-Lebanese group to facilitate the repatriation effort by establishing a number of centers in refugee-populated areas.
Lebanon is home to more than 1 million Syrian refugees, who make up nearly a quarter of its population.
Filippo Grandi, the head of the U.N. refugee agency, said Monday he would be visiting Syria in “a few days” to assess the situation for displaced people.
He said the international community should support refugees who want to return, but that it was “premature” to talk about mass repatriation.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said that conditions in Syria now are stable in many cities and provinces.
- WIth AP
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