Hariri and Merkel stand on the balcony of the Grand Serail in Beirut, Thursday, June 21, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Beirut Thursday afternoon to hold talks with Lebanon's leaders on economic issues and the Syrian refugee crisis.After meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri Thursday evening at outset of her first visit to Lebanon, Merkel is set to meet with President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri Friday. Friday, Merkel will host a series of meetings with top officials, including Berri at 11:45 a.m. and Aoun at 3 p.m. She is set to depart Lebanon an hour later.In between those two meetings, Merkel and Hariri are set to participate in an economic roundtable between Lebanese and German businesspeople at the Serail. While reports suggested Merkel's trip would focus on the Syrian refugee crisis and its effects on Lebanon, sources described her visit as an "economic trip" that would focus on economic support to Lebanon and investment in the local economy, in addition to the refugee issue.
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