Lebanese, Syrian ministers discuss return of displaced Syrians
The Lebanese Minister of the Displaced and the Syrian Minister of Interior discuss the safe and dignified return of displaced Syrians from the Lebanese borders to their Syrian homeland.
Syrian Minister of Interior, Major General Mohammad Al-Rahmoun, and the Lebanese Minister of the Displaced in the Lebanese caretaker government, Issam Sharaf Al-Din met in Damascus and addressed strategies to improve collaboration on the topic of displaced Syrians and the mechanisms needed to ensure their return to Syria.
Al-Rahmoun affirmed that Syria has provided all the necessary facilities for the secure return of all displaced Syrians to their homeland. Additionally, the minister of interior noted that Syria has also prepared a mechanism to address the situation at the border posts and sought to solve all the problems they face.
In turn, Sharaf Al-Din underscored that this most recent visit came as part of a multitude of previous visits which sought to handle and prepare for developments.
Moreover, the Lebanese counterpart highlighted the importance of communication between the Lebanese and Syrian states in order to make advances on the topic of the dignified and safe return of the Syrians displaced in Lebanon in accordance with the plan that was developed and submitted to the Lebanese Council of Ministers.
These talks came after the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced the EU's decision not to normalize ties with Syria during the 7th Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria. At the time Borrell noted that "the conditions for the repatriation of Syrian refugees, as defined by UNHCR, are currently not fulfilled," before stressing that "We [EU] will not support organized returns to Syria unless there are credible guarantees that those returns are voluntary and monitored by the international community."
Following that statement, on June 18 Borrell, announced that the Arab-European ministerial meeting, which was scheduled to be held that week at the conference, has been postponed due to Syria's resumption of its activities in the Arab League.
Borrell stressed in a joint press conference he held with the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, that "the position of the European Union will not change unless Damascus achieves progress in implementing United Nations resolutions, especially Security Council Resolution 2554," and for this reason, the European Union and the Arab League decided to postpone the meeting at the request of European Union.
Borrell wrote, "The re-admission of Syria in the League of Arab States is a sovereign decision, and we respect it fully," then claimed "But we also see that this was done in a situation when the Syrian regime did not make any meaningful efforts towards solving the conflict."