Syria wants refugees to return from Lebanon – envoy

Syria has told Lebanon that it wants refugees to return to help rebuild the country, its envoy to Beirut said on Monday. The country had earlier expressed concern that a new land redevelopment law could discourage them from coming home. Lebanon currently hosts some one million registered Syrian refugees. One of big concerns with the law is that it gave people just 30 days to make ownership claims once an area is designated for redevelopment, according to rights groups. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said on Saturday that this time period had been extended to one year. Ali Abdul Karim, the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, said that a letter to the Lebanese government responded to its questions. President Michel Aoun has called the large numbers of Syrian refugees an existential danger to Lebanon.