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Current negotiations around Britain's exit from the European Union are unlikely to affect the country's commitment to Lebanon, U.K. Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said from the deck of the Royal Navy flagship that docked in Beirut over the weekend. "We're still full members of the EU, so it's some time off before a change in our engagement with EU projects here, but the fact is that the vast majority of what we do in Lebanon is bilateral, direct between the U.K. and Lebanon, not through the EU," Shorter told The Daily Star in the shadow of a Merlin Mk3 helicopter aboard the deck of the HMS Ocean Saturday.He explained that the U.K.'s involvement in Lebanon would likely be unaffected by the June 2016 referendum on EU membership.Having entered service in 1998, the HMS Ocean is slated for sale next year, a fact that has made waves in the U.K. press given the relatively young age of the ship, its unique role as a helicopter carrier and a the 65 million-pound ($79.9 million) refurbishment started in 2012 .
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