Lazzarini, Girard visit Hariri: We respect refugees’ individual decision to return home

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri received on Tuesday at the Center House the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon and UNDP Resident Representative Philippe Lazzarini and UNHCR representative in Lebanon Mireille Girard, in the presence of Hariri's advisor for refugees' affairs Nadim Mounla.

After the meeting, Hariri said: "I met with Mr Lazzarini and Mrs Girard. It was an important meeting because they are partners in helping us solve the refugees' issue. Also, the final solution concerning the refugees, for them and for us, is their return to Syria. This is what we reached today and this is what you will hear from them."

For his part, Lazzarini said: "We just had a fruitful and constructive meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri where we reaffirmed the United Nations close partnership with Lebanon on the response to the Syrian refugee crisis. We have consistently reaffirmed that the return to Syria or the reinstallation in a third country are the only durable solutions. In the meantime, we respect refugees' individual decision to return home and would never never discourage the return from taking place based on their decision. It is their right and it would be inconceivable for the UN to oppose a refugee's decision regarding his or her future."

Source: National News Agency