Bassil, Kneissl talk refugee dossier, regional developments

Caretaker Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil,

on Monday welcomed at Ministry office visiting Austrian Foreign Minister, Karin Kneissl, with talks reportedly touching on the Syrian refugee dossier and most recent developments in the region.

In a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart, Minister Bassil expressed Lebanon's desire to work alongside the Austrian government, international community and the European Union to seek formulas which would secure a swift, permanent and dignified return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Bassil stressed that Syria is a place for diversity, dialogue and coexistence rather than a hub for breeding terrorist cells.

Bassil also noted that he discussed with his Austrian counterpart the bilateral ties and trade balance, hailing Austria's participation within UNIFIL forces in Lebanon.

The Austrian Minister, for her part, thanked Lebanon and the Lebanese for their hospitality in hosting Syrian refugees over the past years, calling for changing policies towards addressing the Syrian refugee issue.

However, Minister Kneissl voiced Norway's commitment to the European Union's policy in this regard.

Source: National News Agency