1st November, 2018
Around 400 Syrian refugees on Thursday returned to their homeland from Aarsal in Lebanon, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.
Lebanon’s General Security checked the papers of refugees, who voluntarily seek to return to their homeland, NNA citing an official statement as saying.
“The return of refugees took place in the presence of the International Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations,’’ the statement said.
Another statement carried by NNA said another batch of Syrians returned to their homeland from Burj Hammoud.
More than one million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon, while the government estimated the true number of Syrians in the country at 1.5 million.
To secure the return of 890,000 Syrian refugees to their homeland, Russia has drafted a strategy and presented it to the Lebanese authorities.
Similarly, the Lebanese army arrested some 113 Syrian refugees on Tuesday in Adayse, Marjeyoun, for entering Lebanon illegally, local media reported.
According to the NNA, some of these refugees stayed in Lebanon without legal papers or expired documents.
A larger number of Syrian refugees entered Lebanon in an illegal way.
Lebanese General Security issued a decision in August to allow illegal Syrian refugees to go back to Syria.
Illegal Syrian residents in Lebanon can pay fines and return home, which would allow them to enter Lebanon in a legal way in the future.
However, they will be denied access to Lebanon permanently if refusing to pay fines.
Also, Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid al-Muallem, said on Monday that the Syrian government was working hard to find a political solution to the more than seven-year-long crisis, according to the state news agency SANA.
Al-Muallem said the Syrian government side had taken part in all international meetings that had been convened to discuss the Syrian issue, the latest of which is supporting the efforts to form a constitutional committee.
The minister made the remarks during his meeting with delegations participating in the meetings of the Executive Committee of the World Peace Council and the International Young Democrat Union in Damascus.
He stressed that the decisions regarding the political solution should be without foreign interference, particularly in the matter of the country’s constitution.
The Syrian government has made it clear recently during UN envoy to Syria de Staffan de Mistura’s visit to Damascus that “the constitution is a sovereign Syrian matter and should be discussed and dealt with in Syria without foreign interference’’.
Meanwhile, the minister slammed the U.S. intervention in Syria, charging that the U.S. is supporting the Islamic State (IS).
“The U.S. is fighting all but the Daesh (IS), and moreover, the U.S. is flagrantly supporting Daesh,’’ he said.
He said the U.S. support to IS has enabled the group to reach the Syrian-Iraqi border, adding that Washington and its Western allies want to prolong the Syrian war.
The minister also said that the government was exerting efforts to rehabilitate infrastructure in war-torn areas to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.