| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Lebanese Minister of Displaced optimistic on return of Syrian refugees

Lebanese caretaker Minister of the Displaced Issam Sharafeddine has expressed optimism on the gradual return of displaced Syrians after a two-day visit he made to Damascus.

The return of Syrian refugees is expected to be on the agenda of a cabinet session next week following the return of caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati from the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper published on Tuesday, Sharafeddine described his visit to Damascus as “positive,” saying that the Syrian government will coordinate with Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib on the formation of a delegation to visit the Syrian capital in order to discuss the issue of refugees.

Sharafeddine was optimistic that the first batch of refugees returning home will include 180,000 people.

He revealed that the Lebanese government was in discussion with the UN refugee agency to continue giving the refugees aid in Syria instead of Lebanon.

According to Sharafeddine, he also discussed the issue of Syrian inmates who want to serve their remaining sentence in Syria.

Caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi and caretaker Justice Minister Henri Khoury will follow up the matter once the government puts a plan to deport the prisoners, he said.

In recent months, pressure has increased on Syrian refugees by carrying out forced deportations despite the condemnation of the UN refugee agency and the international community.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat