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RP thanks Lebanon for safe repatriation of OFWs in 2006

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government formally thanked Lebanon on Monday for the safe repatriation of some 10,000 Filipinos during the Hezbollah-Israeli war in 2006. Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo conveyed the government’s message of thanks to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman during their meeting in Beirut, a report on the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) website ( said Tuesday. "During the meeting, Secretary Romulo extended the Philippines' appreciation to the Lebanese government for the valuable support and assistance extended for the safe repatriation of some 10,000 Filipinos in Lebanon during the July 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war," the report said. The DFA said the two officials agreed to further enhance the Philippines-Lebanon partnership through the exchange of visits. It said the visits will involve parliamentarians, negotiation of agreements in the areas of labor, trade and culture, and engagement in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and other regional and multilateral forums. Romulo left Sunday night for a four-day visit to Lebanon and Syria, saying he will meet with officials and Philippine envoys in the two countries to follow up programs for Filipino workers. "The welfare of Filipino workers will be a key topic that I will bring up with the Lebanese and Syrian officials. I will meet with our ambassadors in Beirut and Damascus to discuss follow-through action and programs for the promotion of bilateral ties especially the welfare of Filipino workers," he said. Romulo said he will also meet with the highest officials of these Arab States to further enhance the Philippines' interaction with the OIC and the Arab League. Lebanon and Syria are members of these organizations, he noted. He added the visit is in pursuit of the Philippines' commitment to deepen engagement with its partners in the Middle East. - GMANews.TV