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Since Lebanon is "not a country of asylum," its authorities hope to facilitate the safe and dignified return of the displaced Syrians to their territory of origin.
On Wednesday, Lebanese Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib addressed a letter to Josep Borrell, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, rejecting the European Parliament's decision related to the permanence of Syrian refugees in Lebanese territory.
On July 12, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it spoke about the presence of 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and indicated that there are still no conditions for them to make a "voluntary and dignified return" to their country.
Bou Habib said a "constructive and comprehensive dialogue" between Lebanon and the European Union needs to be launched "on all files, especially the Syrian displacement dossier, which has begun to pose a threat not only to the Lebanese social structure and economic stability, but also to the continued existence of Lebanon as an entity."
"Lebanon adheres to its rights and responsibilities in facilitating the safe and dignified return of the displaced Syrians to their homes, in particular to safe areas, in line with the international law, and in a way that does not contradict the Lebanese constitution, which stipulates that Lebanon is not a country of asylum," it added.
Bou Habib also underlined the need for the international community to address the causes of Syrians' displacement and to accelerate early recovery, including securing basic infrastructure and social services in Syria, to facilitate the return of the refugees.
The minister reiterated Lebanon's readiness to launch a dialogue with the EU to draw up a road map for the return of the displaced Syrians to their home country.
Currently, Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita. This nation, however, has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis, and the refugees weigh heavily on the country's economy and infrastructure.