| 23 October 2021, Saturday |

President Aoun meets UN High Commissioner for Refugees

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi, today at Baabda Palace.

President Aoun called on Grandi to work to secure the conditions for the return of the displaced Syrians to their country and to help Lebanon in this direction, especially since the Lebanese government has prepared a plan for this purpose. The President also considered that it is important to start encouraging the achievement of this return, especially with the presence of safe Syrian areas.

In addition, the President considered that more than 10 years after the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the international community must look in a different way at the effects of the Syrian war on neighboring countries, especially Lebanon, and its negative repercussions. President Aoun also pointed out that “Lebanon has suffered many negative repercussions as a result of the displacement of Syrians to its lands, which has affected its economy and financial situation”.

“These repercussions accumulated to several unprecedented crises which Lebanon had faced, make it impossible to continue bearing the enormous burden of Syrian displacement” President Aoun added.

Finally, the President called on international organizations to provide aid to the displaced upon their return to Syria, “Because this would encourage the achievement of this return”.

For his part, Mr. Grandi praised Lebanon’s sacrifices to take care of the affairs of the displaced Syrians, and pointed to the work being done by the UNHCR to help solve this difficult problem, promising to redouble the work even more to provide confidence for the safe return of the displaced. Grandi also stated the projects prepared by the UNHCR, and noted that his next visit to Syria will be devoted to discuss how to help the return of the displaced after providing them with necessary guarantees.

Finally, Grandi confirmed that the UNHCR is also in coordination with the World Bank to finance aid programs for countries hosting displaced people, including Lebanon.