BEIRUT, March 8 (Rahnuma) — The United Nations refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi said Friday that his agency is working with Syrian authorities to remove obstacles facing the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, local media reported.
“We are working, in cooperation with Russia, to remove obstacles related to legal issues, securing housing in addition to providing other services for returning refugees which constitute a great challenge for us,” Grandi was quoted as saying by the National News Agency.
Grandi’s remarks came following his meeting with President Michel Aoun and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to discuss issues related to refugees’ return to Syria.
Grandi said that a big number of Syrian refugees have returned to their homeland while others are still hesitant in this regard.
“Around 165,000 Syrians returned back to Syria from Lebanon, according to Lebanese authorities,” he said.
Grandi added that his visit to Lebanon comes following a three-day visit to Syria where he discussed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations the necessity upon the return of refugees to create a confident and healthy atmosphere.
More than 1 million Syrian refugees have registered with the UNHCR in Lebanon, while the government estimates the true number of Syrians in Lebanon at 1.5 million.