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400 Syrian refugees in Lebanon return home: report
From:新华网 | Date Add in:2018-06-29 10:00:00 [A  A]

BEIRUT, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Around 400 Syrian refugees in Lebanon have returned to their homeland Thursday from Arsal to Qalamoun via the Wadi Hmayed using private buses, according to Elnashra, a Lebanese news website.
"We have coordinated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and we have sent them a letter in this regard for them to assume their responsibilities," the report said, quoting General Security Chief Abbas Ibrahim.
Around 1,000 Syrian refugees returned from Shabaa to Golan Heights two months ago.
"The return of refugees to their homeland today is not forced but voluntary," said Arsal Mayor Bassil al-Hujeiri.
The Syrian refugee crisis has been a hot topic in Lebanon lately.
According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, more than 1 million Syrian refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Lebanon. The government estimates the true number of Syrian refugees in the country to be 1.5 million.
Political parties in Lebanon have, on many occasions, voiced their concerns about the large number of refugees in the country, saying that their prolonged stay represents an economic and social burden.
However, the strongest stance in this area came from caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who ordered a freeze on the renewal of UNHCR staff residency permits after accusing them of scaring refugees from returning to their homeland through a series warnings.
The UNHCR announced later that the agency will "encourage a voluntary return for refugees and work with its team inside Syria to remove obstacles endangering those who wish to return."
Head of delegation at the International Committee of the Red Cross Christophe Martin announced earlier this year that most Syrian refugees living in Lebanon are looking to return to their homeland.
Syrian refugees will reportedly perform a sit-in on Friday inside Arsal, asking authorities to confirm their right to return to Syria.

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