BEIRUT, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Syrian ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali on Wednesday called on the international community to provide financial assistance to Syrian refugees after they return to their home country in order to encourage more Syrians to follow suit.
"If the funds provided by the international community are given to refugees after they enter Syria, their situation will improve along with the Syrian state's aid to its citizens," the Elnashra news website quoted Ali as saying during his meeting with former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.
While expressing Syria's willingness to receive all citizens back in the country to contribute to its reconstruction after years of war and destruction, the ambassador said Syrian refugees in Lebanon would likely remain where they were if funds were distributed to them in Lebanon.
The ambassador praised the position of the Lebanese government officials, including the ministers of social affairs and the displaced, who aim to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees to their home country.
Earlier this year, Lebanon launched a plan to return 15,000 Syrian refugees monthly to their homeland.
Abbas Ibrahim, chief of the Lebanese General Security, said last month that around 500,000 Syrian refugees have registered for their voluntary return from Lebanon to their homeland and the number is expected to rise in the near future.
Lebanon is hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with the government estimating that 2 million Syrian refugees are currently living in the country. ■