Aoun calls on Washington to facilitate the return of the displaced

President Michel Aoun told US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, whom he received earlier this morning at Baabda Palace, that “Lebanon hopes the United States would resume its mediation to reach the demarcation of land and sea borders in the South, where it had stopped with Ambassador David Satterfield, especially that few points remain in terms of negotiations.”

President Aoun reiterated “Lebanon’s commitment to Security Council Resolution 1701, while Israel does not stop its aggression against Lebanese sovereignty.”

Any Israeli escalation will destabilize the border area,” he warned.

Touching on the Syrian Refugees case, Aoun told the US official that “Lebanon continues to facilitate the return of displaced Syrians and the number of voluntary returnees has reached 352,000.”

In this context, he called on the United States to “help Lebanon facilitate the return of the displaced, especially as Lebanon can no longer bear the consequences of the Syrian displacement at all levels.”

“The United Nations and other humanitarian agencies must provide assistance to displaced people in Syria to help them return to their villages and lands,” he added.

President Aoun expressed concern that “the Syrian refugee file has become a political issue rather than a humanitarian one.”

For his part, Schenker informed President Aoun of the US support for Lebanon’s stability, stressing “his readiness to strengthen bilateral relations and activate them in all areas, especially in terms of supporting the Lebanese Army and other security forces.”

He also confirmed his country’s readiness to “resume its efforts to demarcate the land and sea borders in southern Lebanon.”

Source: National News Agency