BEIRUT, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali stressed Thursday that Lebanon and Syria should cooperate closely on the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, local media reported.

“The return of Syrian refugees is expected to increase in the coming period and the close coordination between Lebanese and Syrian authorities is a must,” Ali was quoted by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper, as saying.

Ali said that it is in the interest of both countries to work closely while adding that terrorism has hit both Lebanon and Syrian.

“Also, the Israeli enemy is threatening security in both countries,” he said.

Lebanese Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri previously announced that Lebanon will not negotiate directly with the Syrian regime on the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

“We are coordinating with the Russians to secure a voluntary return of refugees to their country with help by the international community,” Hariri said.

Hariri, a long-time supporter of the Syrian opposition, announced earlier in August his unwillingness to visit Syria or meet with Assad under any circumstances, even if that would cost him his position.

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