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MEREHBI DISCUSSES REFUGEES’ SITUATION WITH GERARD, FINNISH AMBASSADOR

State Minister for Displaced Affairs, Mouin al-Merehbi, Sunday met with UNHCR Representative Mireille Gerard, with talks centering on the issue of Syrian refugees in general, and the challenges arising from the recent events in Arsal.

The encounter was a chance to stress on the importance of protecting displaced civilians and preventing them from being exploited as "human shields and prey to terrorism."

In this context, Merehbi called for "working with the law enforcement authorities to preserve the safety and dignity of the displaced," highlighting the need for "preventing the infiltration of terrorists among Syrian refugees and citizens of Arsal."

"Our main concern is to protect the people of Arsal and our Syrian guests and to prevent the infiltration of terrorists among them. The army soldiers are our sons who are protecting the nation and its security," Merehbi said during a joint meeting with Gerard and a delegation from Arsal's municipality.

In the same framework, the issue of displaced Syrians also featured high during Minister Merehbi's talks with Finnish Ambassador to Lebanon, Matti Lassila, earlier today.

Emphasis was made on the need to help host communities and the displaced to relieve congestion.

Talks also touched on the recent preemptive operation carried out by the Lebanese army in Arsal in the face of terrorism.

Source: National News Agency