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Syria readying for return of refugees - minister


Syrian authorities are preparing to welcome "large numbers" of refugees who are returning to their homes in several areas of Syria, national reconciliation minister Ali Haidar stated on Wednesday, the state-run Sana news agency reported.

“Large number of citizens will return soon to their homes in the city of Deir Ezzor, the southeastern countryside of Aleppo, the Damascus countryside and other areas, Haidar said during a meeting with Lebanon's ambassador to Syria, Saad Zakhia.

All the necessary administrative, logistical and executive measures are being taken ahead of the refugees' return, Sana cited Haidar as telling Zakhia during the meeting.

Haidar underlined the need for continuous coordination between Syria and Lebanon "in light of the circumstances and changes taking place in the region,"Sana said.

There are close to a million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a further million in Egypt and Iraq and three million in Turkey, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.