Syrians arrive at the Masnaa border crossing, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Stricter entry requirements for Syrian nationals is "new territory" for Lebanon and will be followed up by re-evaluating the status of refugees registered with the UNHCR, a government source told The Daily Star. The lack of political consensus over establishing formal camps for Syrian refugees in Lebanon played a part in the Interior Ministry's decision to enforce tighter measures regulating the entry of Syrian nationals, a source told The Daily Star. The divisive measures, which went into effect Jan. 5, require Syrian nationals to acquire one of six entry permit types to cross into Lebanon.Lebanon hosts 1.2 registered refugees from Syria, as well as an additional 300,000 Syrian nationals considered refugees by the government.The revised regulations apply to all Syrian nationals and not only refugee claimant-seekers because General Security has no way of distinguishing between humanitarian cases and economic migrants, given the historical relationship between Syria and Lebanon enshrined in the 1991 Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination. Ali urged Lebanon to re-examine the policy as it had not been approved by the Cabinet, reiterating that Syria needed to coordinate with Lebanon to manage the refugee crisis.
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