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Humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees not enough, system approach needed — Lavrov

April 24, 2014, 19:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia's minister of foreign affairs noted that Lebanon had given shelter to more than a million Syrian refugees
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil (L)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil (L)

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, April 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon will not solve the problem, a system approach is needed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil on Thursday, April 24.

Infographics Syrian refugee crisis Syrian refugee crisis
Map of Syria and neighboring countries locating area of conflict and refugee camps, includes number of refugees by country. ITAR-TASS infographics
“We are convinced that humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, whose number keeps growing, will not solve the problem by itself. There are international norms and standards for the treatment of refugees and displaced persons. It is also necessary to take into account the specific features of the country to which refugees are heading,” Lavrov said.

He noted that Lebanon had given shelter to more than a million Syrian refugees. “This equals a quarter of Lebanon’s own population. Naturally, this creates many problems. We will provide assistance in finding a more systemic approach of the international community to this problem. We believe that in this case, just like in any international matter, the approaches of the interested state, in this case Lebanon, must be respected. Russia will be ready to consider constructively and seriously the approaches the new government of Lebanon is planning to state in order to get this problem solved in a more comprehensive manner,” the Russian minister said.

Russia is closely watching “what is happening in this friendly country”. “We will support the efforts of the Lebanese army and law enforcement agencies which have lately been taking important efforts to restore order and counter Jihadists,” Lavrov said.

“Our country will continue to participate in the International Support Group on Lebanon, which is called upon to arrange additional aid in order to strengthen government institutions, the army and law enforcement agencies and overcome acute socioeconomic problems that have been aggravated by the influx of a large number of refugees from neighboring Syria,” the minister said.

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