"In my opinion, the living conditions that we saw here are much better than those of the refugees in Lebanon, especially of those [people] who live in tent camps. We saw how the Syrian authorities support the refugees returning to the country, how they provide them with assistance […] I wish all Syrians could return to their homeland", the party leader said.
He also told Sputnik that the repatriation of Syrian refugees was hampered by the unwillingness of some Western states to see them return to their home country. A local official, in turn, told reporters that the refugee center had received more than 400,000 people since its opening.
"The Syrian state is ready to provide temporary housing to all Syrian refugees who are currently living in Lebanon and have no home", the aide added.
The government official also noted that Damascus was dealing with the problem of the return of several thousand Syrian children who had been born to refugees outside of the country and have no Syrian documents.
The refugee centre, which is located some 10 miles to the south of the Syrian capital, hosts both Syrians who are returning to the country from abroad and internally displaced people who have lost their homes during the civil war.
Lebanon, a country with a population of 4 million, has hosted some 950,000 Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations. Other sources have suggested that the number of Syrian refugees could be as high as 1.5 million.