AP Newswire

Stateside World Business Stocks Technology Sports Weather
Entertainment Multimedia Health Science Politics Travel Offbeat
Oct 28, 1:10 PM EDT

Lebanon wants end to flow of Syrian refugees

AP Photo
AP Photo/Tim Brakemeier
World Video

Latest News
Suspected ETA member arrested in Germany

Germany's main Jewish leader steps down

Volkswagen Q3 profits jump 56 percent

Company: German man kidnapped in Nigeria is free

German 'Autobahn sniper' sentenced to 10 1/2 years

Exhibit Honors Soviet Photographer
Indictment of Monzer al-Kassar
Latest Syria News
Peshmerga fighters enter Syrian border

Analysis: In Syria, no good options for West

Syria's Alawites pay heavy price as they bury sons

Syrian official slams Turkey 'aggression'

UN says Syria's neighbors at 'breaking point'

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later

BERLIN (AP) -- Syria's neighbors sounded the alarm Tuesday over the non-stop flow of refugees from the country's 3 1/2-year civil war, warning that the massive influx was straining their resources and threatening political stability.

Lebanon alone, with its population of just 4.5 million, has taken in about a third of the 3.3 million people that have fled Syria because of the war. Another 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria itself.

"The massive influx of Syrians into poor communities totally unprepared to cope with such a sudden burden has had a destabilizing effect," Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam told a conference in Berlin of envoys from 40 nations.

In addition to placing huge strains on the country's hospitals, schools and other institutions, the refugees also are taking jobs from Lebanese workers, creating resentment, he said.

Jordan warned of similar issues, while Turkey's deputy foreign minister, Naci Koru, said his country had spent $4 billion on Syrian refugees so far and received only $250 million from the international community.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country had taken in 70,000 Syrians since 2012 and was prepared to do more but urged other European nations to also open their borders to Syrian refugees.

Germany announced it would increase its assistance to Syria's neighbors to 500 million euros ($637 million) over the next three years and the U.S. pledged to send an additional $10 million.

Anne Richard, an assistant U.S. secretary of state, urged governments in the region to continue accepting refugees despite the strains. But Lebanon's foreign minister made clear that his country's ability to host refugees was exhausted and suggested it's time to consider sending some Syrians back.

U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres warned that any repatriations would need to be voluntary, noting that the now-embattled Syrian city of Kobani had once been considered safe.

"Worse than being a refugee is to be displaced in an area where the fighting is going on," Guterres said.


David Rising contributed to this report.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.