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President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri signed a decree Thursday in front of an audience of over 1,000 members of the Lebanese diaspora with the aim of encouraging them to reclaim their Lebanese citizenship.At the Cabinet meeting following the event, Aoun, Hariri and Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk officially granted Nazih Mikhael Khazzaka Lebanese citizenship, the first diaspora member to gain a passport under Law 441, passed in 2015 .The President went on to say it is the duty of the diaspora to help rebuild Lebanon.Some members of the Lebanese diaspora were visiting the country for the first time to attend the conference. A group of around 10 Argentines of Lebanese origin sat together, with one woman telling The Daily Star this was her first time in the country. Another notable keynote speaker was Brazilian Formula One Champion Felipe Nasr. The 24-year-old spoke of his ambition to connect with his roots as well as encourage younger generations of the Lebanese diaspora to stay connected with the country. Son of slain Lebanese President Rene Moawad, Michel, told The Daily Star the Foreign Ministry's work was commendable and that the conference was a good contribution to the development of the country.Lebanese-American Dr. Joseph Khalil, an attendee at the conference, spoke of the importance of giving back to Lebanon.
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