President Michel Aoun meets with the Ambassadors of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in Baabda, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Declaring that Lebanon can no longer cope with the presence of Syrian refugees, President Michel Aoun Monday appealed to the international community for help in securing their safe return to their homeland. Speaking during a meeting at Baabda Palace with ambassadors to Lebanon of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Aoun said that the refugees' repatriation should not be linked to finding a political solution to the 6-year-old war in Syria.In letters sent to the presidents of the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China, as well as to the U.N. secretary-general and heads of the European Union and the Arab League through their ambassadors, Aoun urged the leaders to concentrate on dealing with the core of the Syrian refugee crisis, in addition to its repercussions, a statement released by the president's media office said.The president pointed out that there are safe areas in Syria that can accommodate Syrian refugees who are now in Lebanon.Aoun warned of the repercussions of any potential security flare-up in Lebanon if a solution to the Syrian crisis is not found and refugees do not return to their country.
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