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Lebanese officials voice concerns over U.S. decision to defund UNRWA
BY 2018-09-04 07:22:20

BEIRUT, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday called for an emergency meeting of the League of Arab States to issue a decision for funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Berri made the call following a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to defund it, said a report by Elnasha, an online independent newspaper.

The United States announced Friday that it will no longer contribute to the UNRWA, calling the agency an "irredeemably flawed operation" while criticizing other countries for not sharing the burden of supporting Palestinians.

The move sparked anger and worries among Lebanese officials who voiced their concerns over the presence of a conspiracy to nationalize Palestinians in Lebanon.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil held a meeting Monday with Syrian ambassador to Lebanon to discuss the issue.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement Sunday criticizing the U.S. decision to defund the UNRWA.

"The ministry calls upon all concerned countries to meet in a bid to take the necessary measures for facing this decision," according to the statement.

UNRWA provides aid, mostly in the form of education, health care, food security and other essentials, to some Palestinians registered as refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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