Lebanese authorities denied on Tuesday having issued a decision preventing Syrian and Palestinian refugees from entering Lebanon.
The announcement comes after Human Rights Watch had accused the Lebanese authorities of denying entry to Palestinian refugees fleeing from the Syrian conflict following the deportation of a group of refugees who arrived at Beirut’s airport.
According to Alamatonline news website, Lebanon’s Central Security Council convened a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, along with the country’s top security and judiciary officials. A statement issued after the meeting confirmed that: “No decision has been taken to prevent the entry of the refugees and the borders remain open.”
However, the council requested General Security to propose a mechanism to regulate the entry of Syrian and Palestinian refugees from Syria into Lebanon, which will be presented to the cabinet for consideration and approval, Lebanon’s official news agency reported.
The human rights organisation had raised concerns after the Lebanese authorities returned 40 Palestinians refugees from Syria who had arrived at Beirut’s airport but were using fake travel documents in an attempt to enter the country.
In a statement, the watchdog also said that the Lebanese government’s was “arbitrarily” denying entry of Palestinians across the land border with Syria.
There are more than one million refugees from Syria currently in Lebanon, a country with a population of four million people.