File - Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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The number of Syrians entering Lebanon has declined dramatically in recent weeks as the government inches closer toward drafting new policies for its borders.According to comments made by the Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas, Lebanon is now denying access to Syrians unable to present an exigent "humanitarian" reason for entering the country. Lebanon has been struggling to cope with more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees within its borders, who now comprise more than 20 percent of the national population.Spurred to action when the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon surpassed 1 million, the government said in May that it would only accept Syrians fleeing active fighting, and that those commuting between Lebanon and Syria would lose their refugee status.According to a security source, between 1,000 and 2,000 Syrian refugees enter Lebanon through the Massna border crossing each day.
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