Lebanon forced to return refugees to Syria due to lack of int'l plan: FM


Beirut, July 3 : Lebanon Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib has said that Lebanon will be compelled to act in accordance with its own national interests for sending the Syrian refugees to their homeland in the absence of a clear international plan. He made the remarks on Saturday during a consultative ministerial meeting of the Arab League (AL) in Lebanon's capital Beirut, the National News Agency reported. "The international community does not have a roadmap for the return of the displaced Syrians, which will force Lebanon to act according to its own national interests in this matter," Bou Habib added. "The Lebanese government sees the need for the return of the displaced to be financed by the international community, instead of financing their stay in Lebanon," he said. Lebanon will not accept the establishment of camps for displaced Syrians in Lebanon on the Lebanese-Syrian border, Bou Habib added at a joint conference with AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, according to Elnashra news website. Meanwhile, Aboul-Gheit said the international community is keen to end the pressure caused by the displaced Syrians, but certain conditions must be met to decide on the return of the refugees, given that Syria's reconstruction will cost at least $500 billion, Xinhua news agency reported. A significant number of Syrian refugees have been living in Lebanon, adding to the nation's already severe financial situation and straining its infrastructure and economy. /IANS


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