Aoun says Syrian refugee crisis obstacle in Lebanon's economic recovery

2017-01-17 19:39:59 GMT2017-01-18 03:39:59(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIRUT, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday the international and regional crises, mainly the Syrian refugee crisis, have worsened Lebanon's economic recovery situation.

"Lebanon has offered more than it has to its Syrian and Palestinian brothers. Nevertheless, we are bearing the brunt of hosting a huge number of refugees amounting to half of our population," Aoun told the diplomatic groups who paid a protocol visit to the presidential palace.

He called on the groups to persuade their countries to share the burden and reinisisted the need for the refugees to return their home countries.

Lebanon hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees, according to government estimates, while the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says the number is 1.1 million.