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REFUGEES

Aoun again voices support for “repatriation of Syrian refugees”

Aoun again voices support for “repatriation of Syrian refugees”

Aoun meets with the UN envoy for Syria at Baabda Palace. (Credit: @LBpresidency)

BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun on Monday called on the UN envoy for Syria, Geir O. Pedersen, whom he received at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, to “facilitate the repatriation of Syrian refugees.” Some 1.5 million Syrian refugees are currently living in Lebanon following the outbreak of civil war in their country in 2011.

Here’s what we know:

    • According to the state-run National News Agency, Aoun told Pedersen, “The international community must assume its responsibilities by facilitating the repatriation of Syrian refugees, given that the majority of Syrian provinces are now secure.” The president added, “The refugees can return to their country and their homes, instead of relying on the donations from international organizations, which are distributed in a way that draws questions with regards to whether or not they are being given to the right people,” Aoun added.

    • For his part, Pedersen said, “The United Nations is working on finding appropriate ways for the return of the displaced to their country and is placing this issue at the top of its concerns during the ongoing deliberations in Geneva to which Lebanon was invited.”

    • Pedersen also informed Aoun of the results of his visit to Damascus on Sunday, during which he deemed it possible to “make progress” in the political process between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the opposition in the country at war. He said he hoped for the resumption of talks in Geneva between representatives of Damascus and the opposition “in the near future.”

    • Launched in 2019, these talks on the constitution, between representatives of Damascus and the opposition, have been stalled since October, following six rounds of negotiations.

    • The UN envoy also met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

    • Lebanon hosted 865,500 registered Syrian refugees as of end December 2020, but this number is likely to be substantially higher if you include unregistered Syrian refugees.


BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun on Monday called on the UN envoy for Syria, Geir O. Pedersen, whom he received at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, to “facilitate the repatriation of Syrian refugees.” Some 1.5 million Syrian refugees are currently living in Lebanon following the outbreak of civil war in their country in 2011.Here’s what we know:    • According to the...