Aoun Urges U.N. to Facilitate Refugee Return, Export via Jordan


President Michel Aoun on Wednesday called on the United Nations to “facilitate” the return of Syrian refugees to their country as well as Lebanon's exportation of goods via the Nassib border crossing between Syria and Jordan.

In a meeting with Acting U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel, Aoun also urged the U.N. to help Lebanon continue the demarcation of its maritime and territorial southern border with Israel, including in the occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba Hills.

“This is Lebanese territory and its residents are Lebanese,” Aoun stressed during the meeting, referring to the two occupied regions.

Moreover, the president called on the U.N. to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) without any modification in order to “activate its role in the implementation of Resolution 1701 and to guarantee continued stability in the South.”

Aoun also briefed Kardel on the main points of the national economic plan that is expected to be discussed and approved by the new government.

Turning to the Syrian issue, the president called on the U.N. to “facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to safe Syrian areas, especially after Syrian officials announced that they will provide protection, care, food and shelter to the returnees.”

“The U.N. has a role to play in facilitating the flow of the importation and exportation movement via the Nassib border crossing, which would revive Lebanon's industrial exports and accordingly revitalize the economy and its various sectors,” Aoun added, referring to a border crossing that the Syrian regime has recently seized from rebel hands.