Lebanon Warns Refugees Against Returning To Syria


In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, center, speaks during his meeting with secular and religious dignitaries from Damascus suburbs, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, May 31, 2014. Syrian rebels blew up a tunnel packed with explosives in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Friday, killing at least 20 pro-government fighters, activists and rebels said. (AP Photo/SANA)

BEIRUT, June 1 – Lebanon’s interior ministry Saturday warned all Syrian refugees registered in the country not to go back to Syria as of Sunday, threatening that those who leave “will be deprived of their refugee status”.

The decision aimed to preserve “the safety of refugees” in Lebanon, Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying in a statement, adding that all concerned border authorities will be notified of this measure through the country’s General Security.

“We are keen on preserving the refugees’ security in Lebanon as well as relationships between Syrian refugees with Lebanese citizens to prevent any tensions,” the statement said.

The ministry asked the UN agencies and other international organisations “to give this issue the utmost importance and inform Syrian refugees of the new measure”.

The decision came as the Syrian embassy in Lebanon announced that it welcomed all refugees who hope to go back to vote in the upcoming presidential elections slated for next Monday.

Earlier Wednesday and Thursday, thousands of Syrians in Lebanon streamed to the Syrian embassy in the Mount Lebanon town of Yarze near Beirut to vote in the presidential polls. — IANS

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