Kubis Sees 'Absolute Consensus' in Lebanon on Returning Refugees


U.N. Special Coordinator Jan Kubis held talks Wednesday with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil ahead of his travel to New York for his first meeting with the U.N. Security Council in his capacity as Special Coordinator.

“We discussed a number of topics, he gave me a number of messages: One, the issues related to different violations of Resolution 1701 by Israel and the need to deal with them more robustly, by the United Nations, not to try to just focus on one side but indeed to look at both sides what they are doing and what they should not. That is one very clear message,” Kubis said after the meeting.

“The second message was about the issue of Syrian refugees and the need to return them back to Syria, to create all the necessary conditions,” he added.

“Of course I made, and that was well understood by his Excellency, reference to the International Humanitarian Law and the norms that are regulating this, but I also confirm that there is an absolute consensus here in the country that there is a need to see real, rapid, tangible manifestation of efforts to return Syrian refugees back home as soon as possible,” Kubis noted.

He also acknowledged that the refugees' presence is creating “issues and problems here in the country and there is almost political consensus on this topic here in the country.”

“The third point was the issue of the terrestrial and maritime borders with Israel, and the need to accelerate work on this and again His Excellency confirmed clear interest in the U.N. playing a certain role, facilitating role, in this exercise,” Kubis went on to say.

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