President Michel Aoun meets with members of the International Support Group for Lebanon in Baabda, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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After a meeting with UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi, Bassil said the response received over the issues he'd raised appeared to be in "good faith," but he would wait for practical measures and policies to be implemented in Lebanon.Bassil said he did not ask Grandi to encourage refugees to return.Bassil grouped refugees in Lebanon into three categories. "Economic refugees" were those he claimed go to and from Syria while benefitting from aid provided by the UNHCR. According to Bassil, Grandi agreed this group should not receive certain aid from the U.N. agency. The minister also called for a new policy in which the prevention of early return is replaced by encouraging a safe and dignified return, in an apparent reference to current UNHCR policy.Prior to his meeting with Grandi, Bassil met with the U.N. envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura and asked for help in accelerating a political solution to the neighboring conflict and for reconciliation between the Syrian peoples.
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