BEIRUT, June 13 (KUNA) -- Lebanon renewed charges on Wednesday that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is plotting to extend presence of the Syrian refugees in the country.
Official National News Agency (NNA) quoted Foreign Minister Jibran Bassil as affirming that Lebanon is at odds with the UN over the Syrian refugee issue.
"Lebanon is not seeking a dispute with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees however it is high time to tell them enough, nothing can be aloft Lebanon's interests," said the minister during a tour in the eastern region of Ersal.
"We are not talking about immediate and compulsory return of the refugees but rather a phased and secured one however they do not allow us to do that," said the minister.
Bassil last week decided to suspend residency applications for the UNHCR staff charging them with discouraging the refugees from returning home.
The Syrian refugees in Lebanon are estimated at 1.5 million. (end)