Dignified and Safe return for Syrian refugees

In May, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said U.N. and EU comments pointed to “a disguised settlement (of refugees in Lebanon) that contradicts our constitution and sovereignty”.

UNHCR has denied trying to stop Syrians going home, saying it supports return when it is safe, and helps to provide documents for those who do choose to go back.

The policy should be allowing, if not encouraging, the dignified and safe return,” Bassil said in Geneva on Thursday after meeting UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi.

“I am talking of the category of Syrians who want, willingly, voluntarily, to go back,” Bassil said. “This is the first phase of return.”

He described the meeting with Grandi as positive but said he was waiting for a “more practical” UNHCR policy on returns.

He said he did not intend to stop working with the agency, but added: “If the policy will stay the same, yes, we will take more measures.”