Lebanon Deems U.S. Refugee Decision Regrettable

Beirut, Sep 3 (Prensa Latina) The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has described the US decision to cut contributions to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East (URNWA) as regrettable today.
In an official statement, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry considers that providing funds to URNWA is not a favor or to gain merit, but an obligation of the States who have agreed to the creation of Israel in Palestine.

It also denounces this as an attempt to deny the Palestinians their right to return, while at the same time condemning the attitude of ignoring the massacre committed by the Israeli regime in occupied territories.

The note states that these are several events in succession; transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognition as Israeli capital; definition of Israel as a Jewish state through the recent law of the nation-state, and now the cessation of funding to the URNWA.

‘…are steps to eliminate the sacred right of return of Palestinian refugees and to nullify any attempt at a two-state solution, as well as to push for another exodus of Arabs living in occupied Palestine,’ the statement adds.

The Lebanese ministry requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League, including the host nations of UNRWA refugees and donors, on the fringe of the next session of the UN General Assembly.

UNRWA was founded after the 1948 war to help some 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were uprooted from their homes by Israel.

Today, it provides education and social services to more than five million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, as well as those living in Gaza and the West Bank.

The U.S. government provided nearly 30 percent of the humanitarian agency’s budget, but in January it cut its contribution by some 300 million.


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