Naharnet

Report: Aoun Hasn't Tasked 'Presidential Envoy' to Negotiate Refugees with Syria

The presidential palace has denied reports claiming that President Michel Aoun has tasked a “presidential envoy” to negotiate the return of displaced Syrians with the Syrian government, Baabda sources told al-Mustaqbal daily on Saturday.

“The President did not task anyone. He is still thoroughly studying the case to determine the most appropriate solution,” the sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.

Reports said lately there is an inclination to task General Security chief Maj. Gan. Abbas Ibrahim to “politically coordinate” with the Syrian government on the refugee file – “not in his security capacity but rather in his capacity as a presidential envoy.”

Furthermore on Friday, Ibrahim said “he was willing to carry out any mission entrusted to him by the government.”

Political parties are divided over whether to coordinate the return of the displaced through the United Nations or through talks with the Syrian government.

Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement said talks with Syria are necessary to solve the crisis of refugees, while al-Mustaqbal, the Lebanese Forces and other parties see that an attempt to “refloat” relations with the Syrian regime that has dominated Lebanon for years.


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