Nadim Gemayel: Refugee Return Requires Coordination with Syrian Govt.
MP Nadim Gemayel of the Kataeb parliamentary bloc announced Monday that the return of Syrian refugees to their country requires “coordination” with the Syrian government.
“The quick return of Syrian refugees to their country is a national necessity that requires us to directly coordinate with the government of the regime in Syria,” Gemayel tweeted, in a rare acknowledgment by an anti-Damascus Lebanese politician.
Tiny Lebanon hosts an estimated 1.5 million people displaced by the war in neighboring Syria -- more than a quarter of its population before the conflict.
Lebanon has seen its water, electricity and waste removal infrastructure strained by the influx of Syrian refugees.
Syrian refugees are a recurring topic in Lebanon's political debate.
More than 350,000 people have been killed in the Syrian war and millions have been displaced since it started in 2011 with the violent repression of anti-government protests.
Syria's regime has retaken more than half of the country from rebels since Russia intervened in 2015 on its behalf.