Tue, 09 Aug 2022

BEIRUT, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon will carry out its plan to send back 15,000 Syrian refugees every month whatever the position of the UN refugee agency is, a Lebanese minister said Monday.

Lebanese Minister of the Displaced Issam Charafeddine told the National News Agency (NNA) that he has asked Syria authorities to set a date for his visit to discuss the Lebanese plan to return Syrian refugees.

"Statements by the UN Higher Commissioner for Refugees that object to the Lebanese plan are delaying (the potential) meeting," he was quoted by NNA as saying.

Charafeddine announced last month the Lebanese plan to return Syrian refugees monthly. However, the UNHCR refused to approve the plan on the ground that Syria is not safe for the returning refugees.

Lebanon hosts the world's largest number of refugees per capita, as the government estimates the Syrian refugees in the country at 1.5 million.

Lebanon has been struggling with a worsening financial crisis since late 2019 and its officials say the influx of refugees has weighed heavily on the country's economy and infrastructure.

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