U.S. 'Very Concerned' by New Visa Requirements for Syrians

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The United States has expressed concern over a decision for Syrians to obtain visas that sharply limit the time they can stay in Lebanon but Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas reiterated that no Syrian would be deported from the country under the new rules.

“We are very concerned new visa requirements for Syrians entering Lebanon will create additional challenges for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.

She said the U.S. encourages the Lebanese government “to coordinate closely with the U.N. in the development of criteria to ensure those feeling violence and persecution are able to cross into Lebanon.”

“We will continue to strongly encourage the governments of the region to provide refuge and – refuge for asylum seekers in accordance with international principles,” she told reporters.

Psaki also stressed that Washington recognizes the “tremendous challenge” for the economies and public services of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, which are hosting more than 3 million displaced Syrians.

But Derbas told al-Liwaa daily published on Tuesday that the decision to impose the unprecedented visa restrictions on Syrians is not new.

“It comes as part of decisions taken by the government to limit the burden of Syrian refugees in Lebanon,” he said.

“This does not mean that Syrians would be deported from Lebanon. The new aspect of the decision is that it came into force starting today (Monday),” Derbas said.

He reiterated that the new procedures would allow the Lebanese authorities to differentiate between a refugee and a visitor.

Lebanese border officials began informally restricting the entry of Syrians in October, causing a 50 percent drop in people seeking to register with the U.N.'s refugee agency, the UNHCR.

"We are looking at these new procedures with some interest, because those procedures don't make mention of the agreement of the government to continue to allow the most vulnerable cases to come through," said UNHCR's regional spokesman Ron Redmond.

Even after last year's informal limitations were introduced, he said the Lebanese government was still allowing in Syrians they deemed "urgent cases" — single women fleeing with their children, those needing urgent medical care, and children separated from their families.

"We didn't see any reference to that in these new regulations," Redmond said. "We want to get some kind of official documentation and description of how that's going to work."



Comments 24
Thumb lebanon_first 06 January 2015, 08:44

Hypocrit americans.

Dont we lebanese have to jump through 100 hoops to get into the US?

And you are "concerned" that we put a iota of resistance against the unimpeded flow of Syrians into Lebanon?

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 January 2015, 12:55

“We will continue to strongly encourage the governments of the region to provide refuge and – refuge for asylum seekers in accordance with international principles” she said

she had to say "of the region" to dodge the fact that neither the US nor europe has welcomed more than a handful of syrian refugees in the last years. they are glad to sponsor a war pretending it's for the syrian people's good and freedom and whatever, they are glad to send weapons and fighters to slaughter indiscriminately under that pretext, but when it comes to actually doing something concrete for syrians all they can do is preach others.
lebanon did more than its share by welcoming millions of syrian refugees and has no lessons to take from the US on this subject (or any other subject for that matter)

Default-user-icon roukuz (Guest) 06 January 2015, 13:17

May storm Zeina not disturb you as you lay in pieces and tranquility at your final resting place dear flamethrower

Thumb ex-fpm 06 January 2015, 08:48

If the USA is so concerned, take them and make them U.S citizens. I wonder how easy it is for a Syrian national to get an entry visa to the United States....

Missing lqu7 06 January 2015, 09:39

What hypocrites!! Please take them to your country if you're that concerned! And look who's talking, the country that's barring Latino children from entering.

Thumb kanaanljdid 06 January 2015, 10:36

The hypocrite USA built a 1200km long barrier to prevent Mexican entering their big country but they complain that a small country like Lebanon control its borders...

They demand visa as well from Lebanese in USA, so why Lebanese couldn't demand visa as well?

Every country has the right to control its border and to accept or reject anyone in. That's the basis of sovereignty to any country.

Missing humble 06 January 2015, 10:42

Mr Obama should open doors to Syrian refugees?

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 06 January 2015, 11:25

well nature does not need a visa welcome zeina and hope temperature drop below -40
ps not even 1 article on naharnet on this blessed storm wonder why ?
god bless freedom of speech

Thumb Machia 06 January 2015, 11:39

Ms. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki how many Syrian refugees has your country taken? If you are so concerned you can either give Lebanon the billion of USD needed to care for those refugees or you can take them yourselves. Aren't you always boasting this sonnet:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
Give me your tired, your poor, your tired, poor."

Missing humble 06 January 2015, 12:00

Why do you say this ? Do you intend to defend the USA, the new Iranian ally?

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 January 2015, 12:56

you dont understand plain english, do you?

Default-user-icon Jaafar ibn iblees (Guest) 07 January 2015, 07:21

but you surely understand Farsi

Default-user-icon +oua nabka + (Guest) 06 January 2015, 12:09

freedom of speech is between the first amendments of the USA naharnet administrator so learn or should I say obey

Thumb -phoenix1 06 January 2015, 14:22

Anyone who doesn't like about our new visa requirements is totally free to take those Syrians it is so very worried about. Lebanon is 10452 square kilometers, the US is a hundred time bigger perhaps, maybe more. When we were absorbing them at our very expense, no one batted an eyelid, now that we're doing what's our best interest, suddenly the big players sound their concern?! As far as I know, they're very welcome to take them, we don't want them, let them take them and quite enough of double standards.

Thumb freedomarch 06 January 2015, 15:35

We, as Lebanese are very concerned too. Tears flow by our big bro, drop us food, treat sick too but with empty pockets, don't blame US no mo. ;)

Missing peace 06 January 2015, 17:20

M8er collaborators never wanted to give visas to syrians, always free entrance... as they claim that Lebanon or syria is the same country... they should be happy that the USA hold the same talk now! LOL

Thumb _mowaten_ 06 January 2015, 18:02

wtf? still making up BS as you go peace? hariri (the father) naturalised 500,000 syrians during his reign, to turn the confessional balance in his favor.
and when the war started in syria, bassil was the one who suggested that syrians be kept in refugee camps on the border, but m14 went haywire saying they needed to refugees to hire them for their lebanese branch of nusra. (they didnt actually say that, but who are they fooling?)

Missing peace 06 January 2015, 19:28

who cares about what you say, syrian mooowaten... all M8ers did what i said and were ok with naturalizations, fake diplomas, no visa entries for decades, you deny it ? LOL poor idiot...

Thumb _mowaten_ 07 January 2015, 10:18

as usual, all you got is hysterical whining and pathetic attempts at insulting.

"syrian mooowaten" >> is that supposed to be an insult? i thought you loved syrians and wanted your takfiri friends to butcher them into freedom!?

Missing ghzayel 06 January 2015, 17:30

Obama has two choices:

1-he can, along with his rich allies, send enough money $$$$ for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon to cover all their basic daily needs.
2- take a significant number of them to the states and to europe at least few hundred thousands.
otherwise do as the Egyptian woman advised him to do when he criticised sisi: Obama shut your mouth Obama!!!!

Thumb megahabib 06 January 2015, 19:04

They're not concerned that Lebanon will collapse? Why don't they take the refugees themselves?

Thumb fadi_albeiruti 06 January 2015, 21:43

As much as I am for the Syrian revolution against the butcher of Damascus and his Iranian masters Lebanon has not even dealt with the Palestinian refugee issue, besides how many can Lebanon afford to take in before the economy collapses, they need to go back to Syria and take the Palestinians with them and fight the Syrian regime from within Syria and not from Lebanon.

Thumb kanaandian 06 January 2015, 22:10

if they are so concern, they can take the syrians or tell their friends.. the animal saudis to take them.

Default-user-icon kanaadian-shia (Guest) 07 January 2015, 07:23

you don't want them to go to iran?