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What is behind UAE deportation of Lebanese nationals?

Although UAE authorities maintain that the recent decision to deport dozens of Lebanese nationals was made over security concerns, others believe that political alignments may have played a role.
A Lebanese policeman stands guard, as Lebanese Shi'ites, who said they were forced to leave United Arab Emirates last year because of purported security reasons, hold banners during a protest to demand for their rights, in front of the UAE embassy in Beirut May 5, 2010.  REUTERS/Sharif Karim   (LEBANON - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS SOCIETY EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS) - RTR2DHH4
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BEIRUT — The decision by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March to deport 70 Lebanese residents, most of them Shiites, giving them a deadline of less than 48 hours to leave, came as a surprise to Lebanon. This is not the first time that Lebanese have been deported from Gulf states — in 2009 the UAE deported dozens of Lebanese Shiites. At the time, the reason behind this decision was said to be suspected links with Hezbollah. There have also been other deportations, in 2012 for instance, but no reason was given then. In 2013, Qatar deported 18 Lebanese based on a decision issued by the Gulf Cooperation Council states to impose sanctions on Hezbollah as a result of its military intervention in Syria alongside regime forces. However, this is the first time that such a large number has been sent home at the same time, and at such short notice.

With each deportation, fear spreads among Lebanese citizens of various sects in the Gulf states. Information is still circulating in the press about other impending deportations.

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