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Trump Call for Keeping Refugees Close to Home Angers Lebanon

  • Associated Press

FILE - Hundred of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, Jan. 30, 2017.

President Donald Trump's suggestion that refugees be resettled closer to home instead of brought to the United States has angered many in Lebanon, a tiny country hosting more than 1.5 million refugees.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said "everyone knows Lebanon rejects resettling Palestinians or any other nationalities."

FILE - A general view shows tents of Syrian refugees on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal, near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Sept. 21, 2016.
FILE - A general view shows tents of Syrian refugees on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal, near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Sept. 21, 2016.

The country of just 4 million is officially hosting more than 1 million Syrian refugees and some 500,000 Palestinians. The real numbers are likely higher as many don't register with the U.N.

Lawmakers on Wednesday demanded a formal response to Trump. Speaker Nabih Berri said it was no "joking matter," and invoked Lebanon's constitution, which he said rejects resettlement.

Trump told the U.N. Tuesday that for the cost of resettling one refugee in the U.S., Washington could assist 10 closer to home.

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