In a meeting this morning called by President Michel Aoun, the Ambassadors of France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, in his capacity as Officer in Charge of UNSCOL, reaffirmed their strong support in assisting Lebanon to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis.
Discussions focused on the presence of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The Ambassadors and the Deputy UN Special Coordinator voiced their deep appreciation for Lebanon’s hospitality, solidarity and generosity in hosting Syrian refugees for nearly seven years. They expressed their full understanding of the concerns that are being voiced by Lebanese citizens. The Ambassadors and the Deputy Special Coordinator underlined that a return of refugees to their country of origin must take place in safety, dignity and voluntarily, in accordance with principles of international law. The Ambassadors and the DSCL underscored that the vast majority of the refugees want to return and that they do not consider local integration in Lebanon an option.
The Ambassadors and the UN remain committed to supporting Lebanon’s security, stability and territorial integrity, and call for increased international solidarity to meet the humanitarian needs of Lebanese, Syrian and other vulnerable communities.