BEIRUT - Lebanon's caretaker foreign minister threatened Thursday to increase pressure on the UN refugee agency if it does not change its policies, which he says discourage Syrian refugees from returning to their country.
Gibran Bassil made his comments in Geneva following a meeting with Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, days after the Lebanese official ordered a freeze on the renewal of residency permits for UNHCR staff.
Bassil said he is ready to lift the measures "if I see tangible steps," but is also ready to take further action if things continue as they are.
"We want a solution for a crisis that Lebanon cannot tolerate anymore. Its economy is on the verge of collapse," Bassil told the local Al-Jadeed TV.