Tags: ML | Lebanon | Germany

German Chancellor Visits Lebanon School with Syrian Refugees

German Chancellor Visits Lebanon School with Syrian Refugees

Friday, 22 June 2018 06:38 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel tossed a ball with students and passed out jerseys from Germany's national soccer team Friday during a visit to a public school in the Lebanese capital, where many of the students are Syrian refugees.

There are over a million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, representing nearly a quarter of the population. This makes Lebanon the largest host country in the region, putting a huge strain on the economy. In 2017, Germany gave Lebanon 370 million euros to help with the refugees.

Merkel, who arrived in Beirut from Jordan on Thursday, is visiting amid a serious domestic row over migration that's straining her ruling coalition.

Bavaria's Christian Social Union party demands that some migrants should be turned back at Germany's borders, and has given her two weeks to reach agreement with European partners. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the CSU's leader, is threatening to go ahead unilaterally with his plans if she doesn't — potentially threatening the governing coalition.

Leaders from a group of European Union countries, led by Germany and France, will meet Sunday to thrash out possible solutions.

In Beirut, Merkel is meeting with Lebanese officials, business leaders and representatives of United National agencies.

She met Friday with students in a mixed public school where Lebanese and Syrian students learn together. Merkel told one student in English: "We try to help you get an education."

The chancellor passed out jerseys from Germany's national soccer team, currently competing in the World Cup, and tossed a ball with the students.

In Jordan, Merkel promised a $100 million loan in addition to bilateral aid. She said she hopes the additional funds will help Jordan carry out economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund.

Earlier on Thursday, in a question-and-answer session with students at the German Jordanian University, Merkel said the refugee influx in recent years, including from Syria, had stirred debate in Germany over fundamental questions.

"I am on the side of those, and this is fortunately the majority in Germany, who say we need to be an open country," she said, adding that "of course we need to regulate this."

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel tossed a ball with students and passed out jerseys from Germany's national soccer team Friday during a visit to a public school in the Lebanese capital, where many of the students are Syrian refugees.There are over a million Syrian refugees...
ML,Lebanon,Germany
354
2018-38-22
Friday, 22 June 2018 06:38 AM
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