BEIRUT: Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas Wednesday denied receiving a report that stated the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees was preparing a plan to settle 100,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
“I haven’t received any report about UNHCR’s intention to settle 100,000 Syrian refugees,” Derbas said in a statement published by state-run National News Agency.
“I was only answering a journalist question who said he has learned about this intention on the UNHCR website,” Derbas added in reference to quotes attributed to him by the local newspaper Al-Liwaa.
“I confirmed to him that the Lebanese government has not received anything of the sort, and even if the issue was raised, it is certainly rejected,” he added.
Al-Liwaa said Derbas had revealed a UNHCR report that said the agency was preparing a plan to settle 100,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and issue passports for them.
Derbas was quoted as telling the daily he would address this issue at the Cabinet’s next meeting Thursday, adding that the government was not likely to approve the plan.