Lebanon decided to stop allowing the entry of Syrian refugees into the country except for humanitarian reasons , Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas said in remarks published Saturday in the Al-Akhbar daily .
“Lebanon is no longer officially receiving any Syrian refugees,” Derbas was quoted as telling the daily
“Those who try to cross the Syrian-Lebanese border will be questioned and should have a humanitarian reason for their entry. This will be decided by the Interior and Social Affairs ministries.”
“These are measures that were agreed to in the ministerial committee and have received the preliminary agreement of the Lebanese government, and we have stopped the influx.” Derbas said
The ministerial committee tasked with following up on the Syrian refugee crisis has made several recommendations to stop the influx of refugees, measures that the government has adopted.
Among them is stripping Syrians from their refugee status if they return home
“We have also informed the refugee agency that we can no longer receive any more (refugees) and the government has also asked the refugee agency to remove the name of any Syrian who returns to Syria and comes back,” Derbas said, referring to measures taken by the government.
According to media reports even Syrians who are employed in Lebanon are finding it extremely difficult to return after they go back for a visit.
Other measures include calling on donor countries to help Lebanon financially cope with the overwhelming number of refugees and to relocate some of the 1.3 million residing in the country.
Refugees from Syria now constitute a staggering one third of Lebanon population of 4.5 million people.