Naharnet

Syrian Ambassador Calls for Cooperation in Measures Across Border

Syria's ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali expressed understanding to the measures taken by the Lebanese state to organize the movement of Syrians into and out of Lebanon, calling for further cooperation.

“The measures are to organize the operation due to the high pressure imposed by the policies adopted and the conditions in Lebanon,” Ali told reporters after talks with former Prime Minister Salim el-Hoss at his residence in Beirut's Aisha Bakkar.

“We understand and appreciate the measures.”

However, he stressed that such endeavors require complete coordination between the authorities of the two countries.

Lebanon has all but shut its frontiers to new refugees, allowing only humanitarian exceptions across, and the state is beyond its absorption capacities and urgently needs other countries to share its burden.

The Lebanese General Security is also set to impose visa restrictions on Syrians for the first time after citizens of both countries have for decades been able to travel freely across their shared border.

More than 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon have put massive pressure on the country's limited resources and contributed to rising tensions.

The refugees have stretched the country's already fragile infrastructure and compete with Lebanon's poorest for low-paid jobs, causing tensions. Tens of thousands of Syrian children are out of school because there is nowhere to place them.

There are no formal camps. Many of the refugees live in encampments, collective shelters and abandoned construction sites. Many make out a living hand-to-mouth on U.N. cash aid and food vouchers.

H.K.

D.A.


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