Machnouk arrives in Sidon, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Prime Minister Saad Hariri Wednesday scoffed at other politicians' talk about a permanent settlement of Syrian refugees, describing it as "provocative" rhetoric used for electoral purposes. Lebanon goes to the polls for its first parliamentary elections in nine years on May 6 .The prime minister also reiterated that the Lebanese Constitution bans any form of permanent settlement of refugees in Lebanon.The prime minister stressed that the Lebanese government has not resettled any of the estimated 350,000 Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon since the creation of Israel in 1948 and will not resettle displaced Syrians who fled war in their country and sought refuge in Lebanon.Asked about the reform conditions stipulated by the CEDRE conference requiring that the job market be opened to Syrians, Hariri said this measure would not be problematic as Syrians have been a part of Lebanon's labor force since before the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011 .
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