BEIRUT, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The humanitarian condition of the refugees arriving in Lebanon from Syria "prevents us from closing the border with the neighboring country," Lebanon's General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim said Wednesday.
Predicting in an interview with voice of Lebanon radio that " the crisis in Syria would last a long time," Ibrahim said "what concerns us is how to counter the effects and repercussions of this crisis over Lebanon, and most particularly the issue of the displaced Syrians."
"Therefore, we either act in a humane manner or become racist," he said.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)'s latest report show that the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has now reached 170, 637. Some 10,000 Palestinian refugees have also poured into Lebanon since gunbattles erupted in the Yarmouk Palestinians refugee camp in Syria's capital Damascus.
Some in the Lebanese ruling coalition had recently demanded the border with Syria be shut due to the heavy burden they are causing to Lebanon. But the proposal is criticized by a number of other officials.