Has the Russian Initiative to Return Displaced People Already Failed?

Russia is keen facilitate the return of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, but many in the international community do not believe that the conditions for return are right reports Al-Jumhurriyah.

With regards to the issue of displaced people in Lebanon, and while the results of the Lebanese president’s latest visit to Russia with regards to the displaced are awaited, political forces are converging on nothing new that would put the issue on the swift track in the way that Lebanon wants.

It is reported from Moscow that Russian officials are very keen to help Lebanon resolve the issue of refugees. Through their approach to the issue of Syrian displaced, they have stressed a fundamental issue, which is that dealing with this matter should be dealt with positively, far from political considerations and decisions, as a humanitarian issue concerning a people who were forced to leave the country due the security situation. At the same time, the economic issue is a major obstacle for Lebanon, and Moscow understands its position full-well and wants to help.

Lebanese sources concerned with the issue of displaced people told Al-Jumhurriyah that the Russian initiative to return them is completely inoperative, and has lost the ability to implement the requirements for return, especially funding, as it requires securing infrastructure, in terms of housing, public services, and addressing legal problems. Additionally, the Russian initiative has lost its international cover, particularly from America, as Washington does not seem enthusiastic about the plan.

The sources also claimed that this matter is internationally inoperative. “There is a clear division between Moscow, which believes that the security situation in Syria is ready to provide the conditions for a secure return for displaced people, and Washington and other Western and Arab countries, which believe that the conditions of return are not yet ready—especially in light of the pressure, threats, and executions the regime is carrying out against those who do return.”

The same sources said: “Given this division, the issue of displaced Syrians is tied to the course of the Syrian crisis. What’s strange is that the Lebanese are divided about the return of the displaced, which is not in their hands. They are not the decision-makers. This issue is between Syria and the international community, and even if there was agreement between Lebanon and the Syrian regime, they wouldn’t be able to carry out the return given the foreign ‘veto’ — specifically America’s.”

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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