Lebanon urges Iranian help to return Syrian refugees

Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday called for Iran's help to return Syrian refugees to their war-torn country.

Lebanon "needs a [formula] that takes into account their safe return to stable Syrian areas," the official Lebanese News Agency quoted Aoun as saying during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Beirut.

"Iran has a role to help achieve this return," he said.

The Lebanese leader pointed out that the repercussions of hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees in the country were "critical".

Lebanese officials have been calling on Syrian refugees to voluntarily return to their country since last year. The authorities say that the refugees are pressuring the scarce resources in the country and the international community fails to support the refugees.

UN refugee agency UNHCR estimates the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon at 997,000.

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