Syria must be ‘more secure’ before refugees return – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Lebanon on Friday that conditions in Syria are not yet right for refugees to return. The UN has registered around a million refugees in Lebanon – nearly a quarter of the country’s population. The Lebanese government puts the figure at 1.5 million and wants them to start going back to Syrian territories in which fighting has become less intense. “We want to help find solutions in Syria so that a return of refugees can take place… we need more secure conditions for a return to be possible,” Merkel said in Beirut. Germany has taken in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Merkel is under pressure at home over her immigration policy, which is threatening to undermine the ruling coalition. She also played down expectations of a major breakthrough in talks between some EU leaders on the migration dispute on Sunday, Reuters said.