Lebanese deputies urge Prime Minister to end refugee status for displaced Syrians and facilitate safe return

BEIRUT — Lebanese deputies have called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati to take decisive action to remove the refugee status of displaced Syrians in Lebanon, emphasizing the need for measures to facilitate the safe return of Syrians to their country, arguing that there is no longer a legal justification for their continued presence in Lebanon.

As the pressure and forced deportations against Syrian refugees persist, Lebanese authorities have deported hundreds of refugees in recent months.

The call from Lebanese deputies comes in the aftermath of the European Parliament’s decision to support the continued stay of displaced Syrians in Lebanon. However, the deputies urge the Lebanese government to strip the refugee status from those without valid legal justifications and make arrangements for their return to Syria.

The Lebanese Minister of the Displaced Issam Sharaf al-Din stated that the position of Western governments hinders the facilitation of Syrian refugees’ return to their homeland and accused a certain group within the Lebanese government of neglecting the issue of Syrian refugees.

Recently, Prime Minister Najib Mikati expressed during the International Conference on Development and Migration in Rome that Syrian refugees pose a threat to Lebanon’s diversity. He emphasized that since the conflict in Syria has largely come to an end, a comprehensive plan should be established for the safe repatriation of all refugees to their homeland. Mikati suggested that international organizations and donors redirect funds allocated for refugees’ stay in Lebanon to support individuals and families willing to return to Syria.

In response to the ongoing situation, the Lebanese government has confirmed the deportation of Syrian refugees, with hundreds having been deported in the past few weeks. The issue remains a pressing concern, and authorities are seeking solutions to address the complex humanitarian and socio-economic challenges brought about by the prolonged presence of displaced Syrians in Lebanon.