Aoun: Return of Refugees Cannot Await Political Solution
Lebanese President Michel Aoun stressed his country’s commitment to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, reiterating the importance of working for the return of displaced Syrians without waiting for a political solution.
Aoun met on Monday at the Baabda palace with a delegation of the US work group tasked by the Congress to evaluate the situation in Syria.
“The return of Syrian refugees to Syria cannot await a political solution to the Syrian crisis and the end of international disputes over the Syrian situation, especially as the influx of refugees has left negative repercussions on all the Lebanese sectors,” Aoun told the US delegation.
The president noted that his country - which he said provided all the humanitarian and logistical facilities for the displaced during the Syrian war - believed that the Syrian regions, except for the governorate of Idlib and its neighboring areas, were now stable and could safely accommodate the returning refugees.
He added that the United Nations should provide assistance to displaced people inside their country to encourage them to return and contribute to reconstruction efforts.
Aoun told the delegation that “Lebanon continues to organize the return of the displaced in coordination with the Syrian authorities,” adding that no information has been received about harassment incidents against any of the returning refugees.
During the meeting, which was attended by Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Selim Jreissati, the president also stressed Lebanon’s commitment to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, focusing on the existing cooperation between the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL to maintain stability along the southern border.
Aoun highly valued the US support for the Lebanese Army in terms of training and provision of equipment.