More Deported Lebanese Arrive from UAE

Several Lebanese deported from the United Arab Emirates arrived in Beirut on Sunday for the second day in a row, the state-run National News Agency reported.

NNA said the Lebanese nationals residing in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman arrived at Rafik Hariri International Airport but refused to talk to the press.

At least four of the expelled Lebanese had returned on Saturday.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil said the UAE expelled 70 Lebanese nationals, mostly Shiites.

It gave them 24 hours to leave, he said.

Hundreds of Lebanese, mostly Shiites, have been quietly deported from the UAE since 2009.

Deportations of Shiites from oil-rich Gulf states rose in 2013 after Hizbullah joined Syrian government forces in Syria's civil war.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam raised the matter on Saturday with his UAE counterpart Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also Dubai ruler, on the sidelines of an economic conference in Sharm el-Sheikh

Maktoum stressed that the UAE has neither a policy nor an intention to target Lebanese residents, according to a statement issued by Salam's press office.

He pointed out that the measures taken against some Lebanese expats are merely linked to security concerns and don't exceed this limit.

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