Beirut, April 16 (IANS) Lebanon cannot bear the burden of more Syrian refugees coming into the country and would work on limiting their number, the interior minister said Tuesday.
“Limiting the immigration of Syrian refugees will be coordinated with the concerned organisations and will depend on two factors — defining who the refugees are and limiting migration from safe Syrian areas,” Xinhua quoted Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk as saying.
But he also said that “the Syrian refugees are our guests and considered among our relatives, but the country does not have enough capabilities and infrastructure to bear the big number of refugees”.
Mashnouk added that “Syrian refugees represent 27 percent of Lebanon’s population, while in Jordan they number 10 percent of the population and in Turkey four percent”.
He said that a mechanism will be followed as to “identify the real refugees, the regions that can host them and the services that we can offer them”.
According to the latest UN Higher Commission for Refugees report on Syrian refugees, more than one million Syrians have registered as refugees in Lebanon.