Location of planned Syrian refugee camps are a "big issue" in Lebanon: UN

Published June 5th, 2014 - 07:00 GMT

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly said Thursday he is downbeat about the possibility of establishing refugee camps for Syrians in Lebanon.

“Camps are an issue. The problem obviously with camps inside Syria and in areas between Syria and Lebanon is precisely that of security, protection, the delivery of services and so on,” Plumbly said after meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

“These are big issues really, so I cannot say that I am optimistic about that particular track,” he added.

Lebanon has been mulling the organization of camps for Syrians along the border with the UN. However, Lebanese officials want the camps established inside safe Syrian territories or on the Syrian side of the border. There are already over 1200 informal settlements for refugees whose number in the country exceeds a million.

Plumbly also reiterated the call on Lebanese officials to elect a new president, after the country plunged into presidential void last month, and said he hoped the Cabinet would be up to challenges facing the country.

“Needless to say, our main message is one you have heard repeatedly over the past two weeks from the Secretary-General, the Security Council, from Secretary Kerry yesterday and from the International Support Group ... the necessity of electing a new President as soon as possible,” he said.

“The additional message is also clear, our support for Prime Minister Salam and his government, and the importance in accordance with the constitution of it being able to address the challenges that Lebanon faces and to work closely with its partners at this time."

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