Lebanese Official: Return of Syrian Refugees Requires Dialogue with Regime, UN

A Syrian refugee child, who fled the violence in Syria, poses for a photograph at the Lebanese border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Hassan Abdallah/REUTERS
A Syrian refugee child, who fled the violence in Syria, poses for a photograph at the Lebanese border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Hassan Abdallah/REUTERS
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Lebanese Official: Return of Syrian Refugees Requires Dialogue with Regime, UN

A Syrian refugee child, who fled the violence in Syria, poses for a photograph at the Lebanese border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Hassan Abdallah/REUTERS
A Syrian refugee child, who fled the violence in Syria, poses for a photograph at the Lebanese border town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Hassan Abdallah/REUTERS

Lebanon’s General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim has said that the return of Syrian refugees to their home country requires coordination with the regime of Bashar Assad through a UN-attended dialogue.

During a Friday meeting with members of Lebanon’s Press Syndicate, Ibrahim was quoted as saying that “without dialogue and coordination with the Syrian regime, refugees cannot go back.”

He stressed that the United Nations should be part of the talks.

According to Ibrahim, the Syrian crisis will end soon after 80 percent of its issues have been resolved.

Asked about Lebanon’s crossings with Syria, the General Security chief said: “I cannot assert that the border is fully controlled. There is evidence as you know that women and children are dying while trying to infiltrate (the country) through the illegal crossings.”

“We tell any Syrian we arrest because of illegal entry to come (to Lebanon) through legitimate means,” said Ibrahim.

At the peak, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon reached 1.7 million.

Those who are officially registered number 1 million. But in reality there are 1.5 displaced Syrians in Lebanon, he added.



Palestinian Authority at Risk of Collapse, Norway Says

Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
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Palestinian Authority at Risk of Collapse, Norway Says

Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority could collapse in the coming months, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said on Monday, citing a lack of funding, continuing violence and the fact that half a million Palestinians are not allowed to work in Israel.

"The situation is extremely dire. The Palestinian Authority, with whom we work closely, are warning us that they might be collapsing this summer," Barth Eide told Reuters.

"If it collapses, you could end up having another Gaza, which would be terrible for everybody, including the people of Israel," he added.

Norway chairs the international donor group to the Palestinians and is a backer of the PA.