Visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg expressed support Saturday for Lebanon as it struggles to contain the spillover from the neighboring Syrian war.
Norway will "continue to support Lebanon to confront the Syrian refugee crisis," she said in a joint news conference at the Grand Serail with her Lebanese counterpart Tammam Salam.
She expressed hope that the Syrian conflict would reach an end through a "political solution that enables the people to return to their homes."
The U.N refugee agency says there are approximately 1.1 million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon, but government puts the actual number at about 1.5 million.
The influx of refugees to Lebanon has tested its fragile socio-economic, political and security situation.
Salam said that the two officials discussed during a meeting before the news conference the role that Norway could play in finding solutions for the Syrian crisis, expressing a dire need for "new initiatives to resolve the country's problems."
"Norway has the honest intention of spreading stability... which enables it to play an important role in the search for solutions to our region," he said.
"Lebanon is exerting efforts to shelter Syrian refugees and take care of them at the beginning of the winter season," Salam added, praising Norwegian aid to refugees in Lebanon.
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) said it expects to receive 20,000-25,000 asylum applications in 2015, an increase from the 16,000-20,000 estimation it gave on Sept. 16.
In 2016, more than 30,000 people will probably arrive to Norway, it said. Norway has a population of 5.2 million.
Regarding the nearly four-month trash crisis, Salam said that his Cabinet is still looking for solutions to end the dilemma.
Solberg later met with speaker Nabih Berri in his residence in Beirut's Ain al-Tineh neighborhood.