Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Lebanon was ready to expel Syrian refugees living in the country if the international community does not work to repatriate them. Lebanon, grappling with its worst ever economic crisis, has the world's highest proportion of refugees in its population, with the government estimating that Syrians account for almost a quarter of its more than six million residents.
"Eleven years after the start of the Syrian crisis, Lebanon no longer has the capacity to bear this burden, especially under the current circumstances," Mikati said. "I call on the international community to work with Lebanon to secure the return of Syrian refugees to their country, or else Lebanon will... work to get Syrians out through legal means and the firm application of Lebanese law." Mikati's remarks were made during a ceremony launching the 2022-2023 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, which is backed by the UN. -- AFP