BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon is calling for coordination with Lebanese authorities after Beirut announced plans to impose unprecedented restrictions on Syrians trying to enter Lebanon.
Lebanon's General Directorate of General Security said on Dec. 31 that beginning Jan. 5 Syrians will require a visa to enter Lebanon. Previously, Syrians have been able to move freely across the border. Lebanon's state news agency quotes Syria's ambassador, Ali Abdel-Karim Ali, as saying Saturday that Damascus understands the new measures but that "the issue of Syrians entering and leaving needs coordination and integration between the concerned parties in the two countries."
An estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees have found refuge in Lebanon from the civil war in their homeland. The influx has put a severe strain on Lebanon and its resources.