BEIRUT: A series of meetings to discuss the establishment of camps for Syrian refugees will kick off after the Eid al-Fitr break, Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal reported Sunday.
Ministerial sources told Al-Mustaqbal that now that the refugee situation was having drastic repercussions on Lebanon, concrete steps must be adopted to avoid increased socio-economic burdens.
The sources said that ministers would be holding “side meetings” to discuss the issue of camps “calmly in order to bridge differences and come up with a plan that wins the approval of various groups so as not to reflect negatively on the work of the government.”
While the sources did not specify a date for the meetings, they disclosed that all the ministers in charge of the refugee file would be involved in the talks, which will mainly focus on where to establish camps, whether inside or outside Lebanese territory.
Syria’s 3-year-old civil war has displaced millions of people, and Lebanon, just like Turkey and Jordan, has been overwhelmed by the huge influx of refugees amid a dearth of international aid. Lebanon has been mulling the establishment of refugee camps either in Syrian territory or in the no-man’s land along the border to cope with crisis. The establishment of such camps has raised fears of a repeat of the experience of Palestinian camps in the country, most of which have turned into lawless zones outside of state control, giving rise to security problems.