Swing said improving ties with the diaspora could produce significant benefits.
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The director general of the International Organization for Migration called on Lebanon to join the body during his first official visit to the country, citing the myriad benefits of greater cooperation. "We would be able to do more to support their migration priorities if they became a member state, I think that's the main thing," William Lacy Swing told The Daily Star in an interview at Movenpick Hotel Wednesday night.Swing said he raised to Prime Minister Tammam Salam the prospect of Lebanon joining the IOM. The visit comes amid the largest refugee crisis since World War II in which Lebanon has been on the front lines.Lebanon began enforcing new border controls in January 2015, dramatically curbing the influx of refugees.The IOM has worked with the Lebanese government to improve conditions at border facilities, including the major crossing with Syria at Masnaa. At the request of the Canadian government, it is now helping facilitate the resettlement of some 25,000 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.Some 11,000 places have been designated for Syrian refugees from Lebanon.
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