Lebanon to stop accepting Syrian refugees

 Lebanese government has announced no to accept Syrian refugees anymore, state media reported.

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 21, 2014, 06:29 AM IST

Beirut: Lebanese government has announced no to accept Syrian refugees anymore, state media reported.

Following the meeting of the ministerial committee in charge of the Syrian refugees` issue, Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas Monday said the borders, however, would remain open to people travelling for other purposes.

"Any Syrian national is welcome, but not as a refugee. The borders will remain open but refugees flow will be halted."

He stressed "Lebanon is no longer able to host anymore," adding that "there were many border areas on the Syrian side that were free of clashes and could host refugees".

"It was unfair for Lebanon to host refugees coming from areas far from the borders," Derbas said, explaining that they could be relocated inside Syria. He also confirmed the new decision would be adopted as an official policy soon.

According to the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees, Lebanon hosts at least 1.13 million Syrian refugees, but unofficial sources say the actual number is much higher.

The minister said the cases of existing refugees in Lebanon "would be regularly examined to make sure those who do not meet the criteria for refugee status were removed from the UN list".