Lebanon says Syrians who return will lose refugee status

By REUTERS
June 1, 2014 12:38

 
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BEIRUT - Lebanon has told more than a million Syrian refugees they will lose their refugee status if they cross back into Syria, a move likely to discourage many from voting at polling stations on the border in Tuesday's presidential election.



Tens of thousands of Syrians voted at their Beirut embassy in an early round of expatriate voting last week and Syrian officials said those who were unable to get to the embassy should go to polling stations on the border for the June 3 poll.



The scale of turnout at the embassy and the vocal displays of support for President Bashar Assad angered Assad's Lebanese opponents, who said any refugees who took part should be sent back to Syria.

The three-year-old conflict has deepened political divisions in Lebanon and fuelled violence including bombings, rocket attacks and gunbattles. The Hezbollah-dominated March 8 political coalition supports Assad while its March 14 opponents have backed the rebels trying to topple him.


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