World Bulletin/News Desk
Lebanese Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas asserted Sunday that his country could not accommodate any more Syrians fleeing their war-torn country, saying he planned to submit a proposal to the government aimed at halting the influx of Syrian refugees.
Before attending a government committee meeting on Syrian refugees, Derbas told Anadolu Agency that he planned to ask the government to stop the entry of additional Syrian refugees into Lebanon, but without closing the Lebanon-Syria border.
"Lebanon welcomes Syrians who aren't refugees," Derbas said.
He expects the government to soon take decisions aimed at stopping the influx from Syria, insisting that Lebanon could not take on any more refugees.
A security source at a crossing point on the border told AA last week that the Lebanese government did not want to allow more Syrian refugees into Lebanon.
The source added that only Syrians with Lebanese spouses or mothers were freely allowed into the country.
He added that Syrians who entered Lebanon en route to a third country or students enrolled at Lebanese universities were also freely allowed into Lebanon.
In mid-July, Lebanon told U.N. refugee agency UNHCR that it would not be able to accommodate any more Syrian refugees as of September, saying it would only receive Syrians whose health conditions were critical.
Around 1.2 million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon since civil war erupted in their country more than three years ago, according to the UNHCR.
The refugee agency expects the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon to exceed 1.5 million by the end of this year.
Derbas warned of the possible ramifications of Lebanon's large refugee presence, proposing the creation of refugee camps in "safe areas" under U.N. protection on the Lebanese border or inside Syria.
Last Mod: 20 Ekim 2014, 14:56