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Plumbly Rules Out Naturalization of Syrian Refugees

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly ruled out the naturalization of Syrian refugees, denying international pressure to keep the displaced in Lebanon.

In remarks to As Safir daily published on Thursday, Plumbly said: “The issue of the naturalization of the Syrian refugees is out of the question.”

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Salam Hopes for Financial Support to Meet Burden of Refugees

Prime Minister Tammam Salam hoped on Tuesday that the international community is aware of Lebanon's huge financial needs to confront the burden of refugees.

“The refugees are affecting our economy and security ... We call for more funding to confront the repercussions of the refugee crisis,” Salam said at the opening of the Berlin conference on Syrian refugees, which was attended by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas.

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Salam Travels to Berlin: Order to Take Decisive Action against Terrorists Has Been Given

Prime Minister Tammam Salam stated on Monday that the unrest in the northern city of Tripoli “is nearing its end,” stressing the need for a national stance towards eliminating the terrorists.

He said: “The order to take decisive action against the terrorists has been given.”

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Syrian Refugees Bunk Down in Converted Berlin School

Syrian refugees are bedding down in the converted classrooms of a former Berlin high school as Germany grapples with being Europe's number-one destination for asylum seekers.

Among the newcomers is Mohammed Nabil, 28, who after a perilous land and sea journey now shares a small and immaculate if improvised bedroom with his mother, brother and sister in a working class district of the German capital.

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Derbas Says Lebanon and Jordan United at Berlin Conference

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas said the stance of Lebanon and Jordan at the upcoming Berlin conference on the Syrian refugees will be united.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published Friday, Derbas said that both countries are suffering from the same repercussions of the Syrians crisis that resulted in millions of refugees.

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Germany toughens Asylum Rules for Three Balkans States

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights.

The legislation was approved by the upper house of parliament and aims to make it simpler for authorities to deport political asylum seekers from the three formerly war-ravaged states.

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Germany Says No Public Money Paid for Syria Hostage Release

The German government said it did not pay to secure the release earlier this year of a 27-year-old German national kidnapped in Syria by jihadist militants.

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Pro-Russia Protesters Disrupt Merkel Campaign Meeting

Pro-Russia protesters disrupted a public meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Wednesday, calling for the arrest of "Nazis" in Ukraine.

Around a hundred protesters, wearing caps emblazoned with the Russian two-headed eagle emblem, booed the chancellor and brandished placards bearing slogans such as "Arrest the Nazis in Ukraine" and "No war against Russia".

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Berlin: Putin Agrees to Dialogue with Ukraine 'Contact Group'

Russia's Vladimir Putin has agreed to a proposal from Angela Merkel to set up a contact group on Ukraine, the German government said Sunday.

The German chancellor put the proposal to Putin in a telephone conversation late Sunday in which she also "accused the Russian president of violating international law with the unacceptable Russian intervention in Crimea," said a government statement.

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Khodorkovsky Vows to Fight for Russian Political Prisoners

Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was freed by Moscow last month after a decade in jail, vowed Sunday to fight for Russian political prisoners from his new base in Switzerland.

"You can't live with peace of mind when you know there are political detainees rotting in prison," Khodorkovsky told Swiss public television SRF on the train that took him from Berlin to Basel.

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