Report: Russian Initiative to Repatriate Refugees Falters
The Russian initiative to return the Syrian refugees back to their homeland has seen a “setback” in light of the complexities affecting a political solution in Syria, and the Syrian regime’s “unwillingness” to have them back, the pan-Arab al-Hayat daily reported on Wednesday.
Official sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the daily that in light of the difficult circumstances accompanying the return, and despite the ground developments in Syria, Lebanon seems “doomed to coexist with the refugee crisis with the least damage possible.”
Based on diplomatic reports, the sources added that even the Russian initiative to repatriate displaced persons to some regions in Syria “has faltered and declined due to the deterioration of the economic, living and security conditions in these areas.”
They pointed out that the Syrian regime “does not wish the refugees to return because it is incapable of meeting their basic needs and because it has no possibility of securing the minimum living conditions for them.”
Another factor affecting the process is the controversy between Lebanon’s political parties over relations and coordination with the Syrian government to that end.
The insistence of the Free Patriotic Movement and March 8 forces on a Lebanese-Syrian government relationship on one hand, and al-Mustaqbal Movement, Lebanese Forces and Preogressive Socialist Party preference to limit the relationship to ambassadors of the two countries has shifted the focus from the return to relations between the two countries, said the sources.
They said in order to accelerate the return of refugees, “political forces in Lebanon must stop contention, because continued confusion between two views, paralyzes the State’s ability to move towards this goal.”