President Michel Aoun meets with UNSCOL Pernille Dahler Kardel at Baabda Palace Thursday April 5 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati & Nohra)
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Acting U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel said Thursday that President Michel Aoun's call to discuss an integrated National Defense Strategy ahead of the Rome II conference had contributed to the conference's success.Kardel also said that Lebanon's clear plans heading into the conference contributed to its success, and the plans' clarity would have the same effect during the upcoming CEDRE conference, according to a statement from Aoun's office.Lebanon received pledges in excess of $500 million at Rome II from major allies including France, the U.S. and the EU. Ahead of the conference, Aoun stated that the National Defense Strategy, expected to address the controversial issue of Hezbollah's arms, would be discussed after Lebanon's upcoming parliamentary elections.Fewer than one million Syrian refugees are currently registered with the U.N. refugee agency in Lebanon.
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