EU strikes billion-dollar refugee deal with Lebanon

The European Union (EU) has reached a billion-dollar refugee deal with Lebanon. The country will receive about one billion euros in financial aid, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday during her visit to Beirut.

Beirut - The money will be available until 2027. It will also be used to strengthen the country's border security and the fight against smuggling crimes. Von der Leyen called it a "strong testimony" of the EU's support for the Lebanese people. In addition, the agreement reflects the "clear message" of EU leaders at the last summit, von der Leyen said. The Commission President had earlier met with Lebanese Prime Minister Mikati and Cypriot leader Christodoulidis. Cyprus had recently insisted on EU action in the face of a growing number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Lebanon has received the largest number of refugees from civil war-torn Syria relative to its population.

Given the extremely tense economic and political situation in the country, most Syrians live there in precarious conditions.

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