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Report: Arab League to meet over Syria refugees in Lebanon

Jan. 6, 2013 7:36 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 7, 2013 6:18 P.M.)
BEIRUT (Ma'an) -- Arab foreign ministers will meet next week in Egypt to address the issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Lebanese media reported Sunday.

"[Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Adnan] Mansour was informed Sunday that the Arab league has agreed to hold a meeting on the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon," the Daily Star said.

The meeting, due to take place on Jan. 13, will address potential assistance to Lebanon by members of the Arab League.

Earlier this week, Lebanon asked foreign donors for $180 million to help care for Syrian refugees and said it would register and recognize them after a year-long hiatus.

Until now Syrian refugees have found shelter with local communities in Lebanon, rather than being housed in camps, as in the other two main host countries, Jordan and Turkey.

Ninette Kelley, representative of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Lebanon, said the government's action was "the first concrete plan" it had presented to the international community.

Syria-related violence has flared periodically in the northern port of Tripoli, which has a Sunni majority and an Alawite minority, as well as in Beirut and Sidon in the south.

Assad's Lebanese opponents blame Syria, which stationed troops in Lebanon from 1976 to 2005, for the unresolved killing of Lebanese security official Wissam al-Hassan in October.

Hassan had been leading an investigation that implicated Damascus and Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, a Sunni.

Reuters contributed to this report
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